Infomotions, Inc.Schwatka's Search / Gilder, William H. (William Henry), 1838-1900



Author: Gilder, William H. (William Henry), 1838-1900
Title: Schwatka's Search
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): lieutenant schwatka; schwatka; igloo; walrus; reindeer; sled; ice; verb; lieutenant; bay; depot island; snow; camp; seal; island; esquimau joe; erebus bay; cape felix
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Title: Schwatka's Search

Author: William H. Gilder

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[Frontispiece: LIEUTENANT SCHWATKA]

SCHWATKA'S SEARCH

SLEDGING IN THE ARCTIC IN QUEST OF THE FRANKLIN RECORDS

BY

WILLIAM H. GILDER
SECOND IN COMMAND




INTRODUCTION.


On the 25th of September, 1880, the leading English newspaper published
the following words:--

"Lieutenant Schwatka has now resolved the last doubts that could have
been felt about the fate of the Franklin expedition. He has traced the
one untraced ship to its grave beyond the ocean, and cleared the
reputation of a harmless people from an undeserved reproach. He has
given to the unburied bones of the crews probably the only safeguard
against desecration by wandering wild beasts and heedless Esquimaux
Which that frozen land allowed. He has brought home for reverent
sepulture, in a kindlier soil, the one body which bore transport. Over
the rest he has set up monuments to emphasize the undying memory of
their sufferings and their exploit. He has gathered tokens by which
friends and relatives may identify their dead, and revisit in
imagination the spots in which the ashes lie. Lastly, he has carried
home with him material evidence to complete the annals of Arctic
exploration."

The record of Schwatka's expedition is written in these pages. Much of
it has already been published in detached letters by the 'New York
Herald', which engaged the author to act as its correspondent during
the journey. Other hands than his have reduced it to its present shape,
for his restless energy has again driven him toward the North, and has
enlisted him among the crew of the 'Rodgers', which is seeking the
lost 'Jeannette'. Beyond a mere concatenation of the chapters it
has been nowhere altered with a view to literary effect or sensational
color. The notes from which it is drawn were made from day to day; and
if critics find in it facts which are either improbable or unpalatable,
they may, at least, have the satisfaction of knowing that it is a
faithful narrative of carefully sifted evidence.

This needs to be said because the statements of the writer have already
been questioned in one or two details. He says that the party
experienced such cold weather as was almost without precedent in Arctic
travel, the temperature falling to seventy-one degrees below zero. He
says that the party killed more than five hundred reindeer, besides
musk-oxen, bears, walrus, and seal, in regions where Rae and McClintock
could scarcely find game at all, and where the crews of the
'Erebus' and 'Terror' starved to death. He says that of the
last survivors of Franklin's party the majority were officers, arguing
that the watches and silver relics found with their skeletons go far to
prove their rank. These statements have been doubted. The accuracy of
the thermometers being questioned, they were tested and found to be
curiously exact. The facilities for procuring game were assisted by the
use of improved weapons; and besides, as Sir Leopold McClintock has
justly shown, it was merely a tradition, not an ascertained fact, that
these sub-arctic regions were destitute of animal life. The method by
which the official position of the bodies was determined is
indisputably open to objection. "Watches and silver relics," writes
Vice-admiral Sir George Richards, "do not necessarily indicate a
corresponding number of officers. Such light valuable articles would
naturally be taken by the survivors."

But the point which has provoked more criticism than all the rest is
the native evidence that the distressed crews were in the last resort
reduced to cannibalism. This is set down just as it was heard, being
worth neither more nor less than any testimony on an event which
happened so many years ago. Between the risk of giving pain to living
relatives, and the reproach of having suppressed essential parts of the
story, no traveller should hesitate for an instant. Dr. John Rae, the
veteran of Franklin search parties, writes to the author in the
following words: "As my name is mentioned in connection with the
subject of cannibalism, I must state that when I came home in 1854 I
felt bound to report in as condensed a form as possible all the
information given us by the Esquimaux, including the most painful part.
I would have felt it my duty to do this even had my dearest friends
been among the lost ones, for had I withheld any part of the sad story,
it would have come to light through my men, and I should have been
accused, with some show of justice, of garbling my report. I consider
it no reproach, when suffering the agony to which extreme hunger
subjects some men, for them to do what the Esquimaux tell us was done.
Men so placed are no more responsible for their actions than a madman
who commits a great crime. Thank God, when starving for days, and
compelled to eat bits of skin, the bones of ptarmigan up to the beak
and down to the toe-nails, I felt no painful craving; but I have seen
men who suffered so much that I believe they would have eaten any kind
of food, however repulsive."

On the other hand, Sir George Richards shows strong reasons why the
Esquimaux should not be believed. "They are said to give as their
reasons," he writes, "that some of the limbs were removed as if by a
saw. If this is correct, they were, probably, the operators themselves.
We learn from the narrative that they were able to saw off the handles
of pickaxes and shovels. At all events the intercourse between the
natives and such of Franklin's crews as they met is surrounded by
circumstances of grave suspicion, as learned from themselves, and this
suspicion gathers strength from various circumstances related on
Schwatka's journey. Be this as it may, I take my stand on far higher
ground. Of course such things have happened. Strong, shipwrecked
mariners, suddenly cast adrift on the ocean, have endeavored to extend
life in this way when they were in hourly expectation of being rescued.
But how different the case in point! The crews of the 'Erebus' and
'Terror', when they abandoned their ship, were, doubtless, for the
most part, suffering from exhaustion and scurvy; death had been staring
them in the face for months. The greater part of them probably died
from exhaustion and disease long before they got a hundred miles from
their ships, and found their graves beneath the ice when it melted in
summer, or on the beach of King William Land. It is possible that no
more than half a dozen out of the whole crew ever reached the entrance
to the Great Fish River. We need not call in starvation to our aid. I
fully believe that by far the greater portion perished long before
their provisions were consumed. The only thing that would have restored
men to convalescence in their condition would have been nursing and the
comforts of hospital treatment, not a resort to human flesh."

Apart from these objections, of which the reader is only forewarned,
the importance of the results achieved by Lieutenant Schwatka's
expedition has not been gainsaid by any one possessing the least
acquaintance with Arctic matters. It made the largest sledge journey on
record, having been absent from its base of supplies for eleven months
and twenty days, and having traversed 2,819 geographical, or 3,251
statute miles. It was the first expedition which relied for its own
subsistence and for the subsistence of its dogs on the game which it
found in the locality. It was the first expedition in which the white
men of the party voluntarily assumed the same diet as the natives. It
was the first expedition which established beyond a doubt the loss of
the Franklin records. McClintock recorded an opinion that they had
perished: Schwatka recorded it as a fact.

The success of this latest Arctic journey has been attributed to small,
as well as to greater causes. The advantages of summer exploration were
manifest. The Esquimaux of the party gave invaluable aid, building
snow-huts with the skill to which none but natives attain, coating the
sledge-runners with ice according to a method which only natives
understand, and by their good offices enabling the expedition to hold
communication and have dealings with the wild tribes with whom they
came in contact. The dogs were chosen with the utmost circumspection,
and justified this care by their wonderful endurance. Game was
abundant. Such minor devices as the use of blue lights proved
efficacious in the dispersal of wolves. Woolen foot gear, made by
friendly natives, supplied a need which has often proved fatal in the
Arctic. Good management kept all the Esquimaux loyal, and Schwatka's
strong will helped the travellers to live while the dogs were falling
exhausted and dying by the way.

Among the relics that were brought home was the prow of the boat seen
by Sir Leopold McClintock in Erebus Bay, the sled on which it had been
transported, and the drag-rope by which the sled was drawn. There were
also two sheet-iron stoves from the first camp on King William Land, a
brush marked "H. Wilkes," some pieces of clothing from each grave,
together with buttons, canteens, shoes, tin cans, pickaxes, and every
thing that could in any way tend to identify the occupants of the
different graves or those who died without burial. They were offered to
the British Admiralty, and, having been gratefully accepted, were added
to the relics already deposited at the Museum in Greenwich Hospital,
and at the United Service Institution in London.




CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I. NORTHWARD

CHAPTER II. THE WINTER CAMP

CHAPTER III. OUR DOGS

CHAPTER IV. IN THE SLEDGES

CHAPTER V. NATIVE WITNESSES

CHAPTER VI. THE MIDNIGHT SUN

CHAPTER VII. RELICS

CHAPTER VIII. IRVING'S GRAVE

CHAPTER IX. ARCTIC COSTUMES

CHAPTER X. OVER MELTING SNOWS

CHAPTER XI. AMATEUR ESQUIMAUX

CHAPTER XII. WALRUS DIET

CHAPTER XIII. THE RETURN

CHAPTER XIV. FAMINE

CHAPTER XV. ESQUIMAU HOME-LIFE

CHAPTER XVI. HOMEWARD

CHAPTER XVII. THE GRAVES OF THE EXPLORERS




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


LIEUTENANT SCHWATKA
CAMP DALY IN SUMMER
ESQUIMAUX GOING TO THE HUNTING-GROUND
A CAIRN
CAIRN MARKING DEPOSIT OF PROVISIONS
THE SHIPS IN WINTER QUARTERS
ESQUIMAU PLAYING THE KI-LOWTY
CAMP DALY IN WINTER
DOWN-HILL WITH THE SLEDGES
HUNTING MUSK-OXEN
THE GREAT BEND IN HAYES RIVER
THE SOURCES OF THE HAYES RIVER
MEETING WITH THE OOKJOOLIKS
THE NETCHILLIK AMBASSADRESS
THE COUNCIL WITH THE NETCHILLIKS
SNOW-HUTS ON CAPE HERSCHEL
CROSSING EREBUS BAY
CURIOUS FORMATION OF CLAY-STONE
CLAY-STONE MOUNDS
THE BREAKING UP OF THE ICE
THE MARCH SOUTHWARD
SCHWATKA'S PERMANENT CAMP
HENRY KLUTSCHAK'S CAMP
VIEW ON BACK'S RIVER
THE DANGEROUS RAPIDS, BACK'S RIVER
THE MARCH IN EXTREME COLD WEATHER
VIEW ON CONNERY RIVER
ESQUIMAUX BUILDING A HUT
SECTION AND PLAN OF ESQUIMAUX HUT
ESQUIMAU WOMAN COOKING

[Map: THE OVERLAND ROUTE OF THE Exploring Expedition of
Lieut. Schwatka to and from KING WILLIAM'S LAND. 1879-1880.]

       *       *       *       *       *


SCHWATKA'S SEARCH.


CHAPTER I.

NORTHWARD.


"Haul in the gang-plank;" "Let go the tow-line," shouted the captain of
the 'Fletcher'. Then he signalled the engineer to go ahead, and
the little schooner 'Eothen' was abandoned to her own resources
and the mercy of the mighty ocean. The last frantic handshaking was
over, and only wind-blown kisses and parting injunctions passed back
and forth as the distance between the voyagers and their escort kept
continually increasing, until nothing could be heard but the hearty
cheers that wished for us a pleasant journey and unbounded success.
There was no time now for regrets, for if we would be comfortable we
must direct our thoughts seaward and get our bunks ready for sleeping.
So we were paired off and went immediately to work. As Lieutenant
Schwatka was not only the senior officer of the expedition, but at the
same time taller than I by several inches, I willingly yielded him the
top bunk of our state-room, and waited patiently outside until he had
prepared his lair, for it would be impossible for two to work at the
same time in such very narrow space. He at last arranged his two
buffalo robes to his perfect satisfaction, and I soon spread my humbler
blankets to the best advantage. So much accomplished we retired to our
first sleep on shipboard.

We had left New York on the 19th June, 1878, a party of five, none of
us unaccustomed to hardship and adventure. Lieutenant Frederick
Schwatka, of the Third United States Cavalry, Polish by descent,
American by birth, had been distinguished in the war; and I, who was
second in command, had seen a good deal of active service. Henry
Klutschak, a Bohemian by birth, a civil engineer by profession, brought
us the advantage of his previous experiences in the Arctic; Frank E.
Melms was an experienced whaleman; and Joseph Ebierbing, well known as
"Esquimau Joe," had been with Captain Hall and Captain Hayes in their
journeys, and with the 'Pandora' expedition from England. The
'Eothen', that carried us, was commanded by Captain Thomas F.
Barry. Her crew included a first, second, and third mate, a carpenter,
blacksmith, cooper, steward and cook, three boat-steerers, and twelve
men before the mast. To prepare her for encounters with the ice, the
hull had been overlaid to the chain-plates with oak planking an inch
and a half thick, and the stem had been covered with oak about two feet
thick, over which was iron plating to the depth of three-quarters of an
inch. She was a stout vessel of one hundred and two tons. The stock of
provisions laid in on board of her for the use of the party included
hard bread, Indian-meal, flour, molasses, pemmican, canned meats,
preserved vegetables, preserved fruits, coffee, tea, and chocolate.
Horseradish was taken as a preventive against scurvy, and tobacco was
stored in abundance for the use of such Esquimaux as might have stories
to tell or assistance to offer. Arms and ammunition had been generously
presented to us by several manufacturers, and to individual bounty we
also owed many of our books, night-signals, instruments, and the timber
for our sledges.

The commander of the 'Eothen' was, indirectly, the originator of
the expedition. Everybody knows that for more than twenty years
explorers had been sailing from English and American ports in search of
the bodies or the papers of Sir John Franklin and his party. The
partial success which attended the investigations of Sir Leopold
McClintock had served to whet the public appetite. A story which
Captain Barry brought home from the Arctic made the curiosity still
greater. He said that in 1871-73, while on a whaling expedition, he was
frozen in with the 'Glacier' in Repulse Bay, and was there visited
by several Esquimaux who brought their families on board his vessel.
They had lost their way while hunting, and were anxious to see the
ships of white men. While on board the 'Glacier' they spoke of a
stranger in uniform who had visited them some years before, and who was
accompanied by many other white men. All of the party had afterward
died, but the chief had meanwhile collected a great quantity of papers.
He had left these papers behind him in a cairn, where, among other
things, some silver spoons had since been found. In the winter of 1876,
while the captain was with the bark 'A. Houghton' before Marble
Island, another set of Esquimaux visited him, and while looking at his
logbook said that the great white man who had been among them many
years before had kept a similar book, and having told him this one of
them gave him a spoon engraved with the word "Franklin."

This was enough to arrest the attention and stir the adventurous spirit
of Lieutenant Schwatka. He became eager to organize a search party and
find the cairn where the papers were supposed to be still buried. He
obtained leave of absence, went to New York, and proposed to Judge
Daly, of the Geographical Society, to take charge of an expedition.
After listening to the lieutenant's offer, Judge Daly gave him all the
information in his possession concerning the whereabouts of the
supposed cairn, so far as its site could be ascertained from the
history of the relics already said to be found, and commended him to
General Sherman, indorsing his application to be detailed to command
the exploring party. The lieutenant also conferred with Messrs.
Morrison & Brown, the shipping merchants of South Street, New York, who
owned the whaling vessel on which the supposed clew was brought home,
and they readily accepted his offer, and with the help of private
subscriptions fitted out the 'Eothen'. Their instructions to
Lieutenant Schwatka were as follows: "Upon your arrival at Repulse Bay
you will prepare for your inland journey by building your sledges and
taking such provisions as are necessary. As soon as sufficient snow is
on the ground you will start for King William Land and the Gulf of
Boothia. Take daily observations, and whenever you discover any error
in any of the charts you will correct the same. Whenever you shall make
any new discoveries you will mark the same on the charts; and important
discoveries I desire to be named after the Hon. Charles P. Daly and his
estimable wife, Mrs. Maria Daly. Any records you may think necessary
for you to leave on the trip, at such places as you think best, you
will mark ''Eothen' Franklin Arctic Search Party, Frederick
Schwatka in command;' date, longitude, and latitude; to be directed to
the President of the American Geographical Society, New York, United
States of America. Should you be fortunate in finding the records,
remains, or relics of Sir John Franklin or his unfortunate party, as I
have hopes you will, you will keep them in your or Joe's control, and
the contents thereof shall be kept secret, and no part thereof
destroyed, tampered with, or lost. Should you find the remains of Sir
John Franklin or any of his party, you will take the same, have them
properly taken care of, and bring them with you. The carpenter of the
'Eothen' will, before you start on your sledge journey, prepare
boxes necessary for the care of relics, remains, or records, should you
discover the same. Whatever you may discover or obtain you will deliver
to Captain Thomas F Barry, or whoever shall be in command of the
schooner 'Eothen', or such vessel as may be despatched for you.
You are now provisioned for eighteen months for twelve men. I shall
next spring send more provisions to you, so that in the event of your
trip being prolonged you shall not want for any of the necessaries of
life. You will be careful and economical with your provisions, and will
not allow anything to be wasted or destroyed. Should the expedition for
which it is intended prove a failure, make it a geographical success,
as you will be compelled to travel over a great deal of unexplored
country."

Thus manned, equipped, and instructed, we sailed from New York. It was
nearly a month before we saw our first iceberg. During the night of
July 11th I heard the order given to wear ship, and was called on deck
to see an iceberg dead ahead; but so great was the distance and so
foggy the weather that it was some time before I could make it out, and
then it appeared only as a thin, faintly bluish line. The eagle eyes of
the second mate had discovered it in time to avoid any danger of
collision; but the captain thought it more prudent to heave to and wait
until dawn before continuing on our course. The following morning a
regular old veteran berg could be seen from the deck, about twenty
miles away. It was apparently about a mile long, and could have
supplied the city of New York with ice for many years, were there any
way to preserve it for that purpose. During the 13th we saw four large
icebergs, which passed close by the ship. While writing in the cabin,
about eleven o'clock of the 15th, the mate on watch called me on deck
to see a magnificent aurora, the first we had seen. It was truly a
grand spectacle. At the same time the moon was shining brightly and the
sea was as smooth as glass. Near by an immense iceberg looked black
against the red twilight along the horizon, while in the distance
another berg was white in the light of the full moon. The air was
filled with the voices of wild-ducks, who could be heard, but not seen.
On Friday, the 19th, in latitude 59 deg. 54 min. north, and longitude
60 deg. 45 min. west., thirteen icebergs were to be seen during the
morning, and were of the most varied and picturesque description. One
appeared like a huge circus tent, with an adjoining side-show booth;
while near by another was a most perfect representation of a cottage by
the sea, with gables toward the observer, and chimneys rising at proper
intervals along the roofs. On the other side of the vessel a huge
monster presented a vast amphitheatre, with innumerable columns
sparkling in the sunlight and dazzling the spectator with their intense
brilliancy. I made a few sketches of the most remarkable in view; but
as twenty-three could be seen from the deck at three o'clock I gave up
in despair. At six o'clock thirty-three were in sight, and the sun set
beautifully, eight minutes past nine, surrounded by fourteen of these
monsters of the deep. On the night of the 19th I went on deck to see an
iceberg, which was a perfect counterpart of Newstead Abbey. One could
almost fancy he saw the ivy creeping over its sides, so deceptive were
the shadows that fell upon it from pinnacles and horizontal projections
innumerable.

At half-past seven o'clock in the evening we sighted a brigantine off
the weather beam, while thirty-one icebergs were around us. The vessel
was going the same way that we were bound, and was about fifteen miles
away. Sunday night, the 21st, was a splendid night. One could read
distinctly on deck throughout the entire night. There were plenty of
icebergs around. Those in front and on both sides of the ship were
black against the sky, the moon being on the other side of them, while
those we passed shone in all their virgin beauty in the bright
moonlight. The red twilight still lingered along the horizon,
graduating through a pale yellow tint to orange, and then deepening
into intense blue that was almost black. The picture was fierce in
color and startling in the contrasts it presented.

At a quarter before nine o'clock the next night we sighted Resolution
Island in the dim distance. Spy-glasses were at once brought into
requisition, and we could see that the mirage had fooled us, though
there seemed little doubt of the land's being visible. The next morning
the land was in plain sight, about thirty or thirty-five miles off the
weather beam, and the water filled with small and dangerous pieces of
ice. The land was covered with fog, and looked desolate enough, but
nevertheless seemed acceptable after a tedious journey against head
winds and calms. The wind was still directly out of the straits, and we
had to beat backward and forward from Resolution to Button Island, and
it seemed as if the straits were unapproachable. Toward night the wind
blew a perfect gale, and added to the usual dangers was the risk of
running upon the innumerable pieces of loose ice which appeared on
every side, many of them having sharp points projecting below the
surface of the water, and heavy enough to pierce the sides of any
vessel going at the speed we were compelled to make in order to keep
sufficient headway to steer clear of such obstacles as could be seen.
The captain and first mate, who were on deck most of the night, said
that disaster was imminent; that the danger was constant, and that the
night was withal one of the most terrible ordeals they had ever
experienced. I was tired and slept soundly, and consequently knew
nothing about it until morning, which dawned brightly and with a light
breeze, under which we passed up to the first ice-pack I had ever seen.
While engaged in conversation an inexperienced hand at the wheel
brought us so close to a small cake of ice, about the size of a
schooner, that collision was inevitable. A long projection beneath the
water had a most dangerous look, but fortunately was so deep that the
keel of the 'Eothen' ran up on it and somewhat deadened her
headway. Long poles were got out at once, and, all hands pushing,
succeeded after a while in getting her clear without damage; but it was
a perilous moment.

We worked over toward the south side of the straits, and found a
channel through which we could make but slow progress. The wind
increased and blew terrifically all night, forcing the vessels to beat
back and forth in the mouth of the straits, and we had a similar
experience on the night of the 22d, running the gauntlet under reefed
mainsail and jib through loose ice and in imminent danger of shipwreck.
Next day the ice appeared somewhat open, and Captain Barry concluded to
venture into the pack. When we got into clear water we worked up to the
bulkhead of ice and passed Resolution Island. We were almost as glad to
get rid of it as we had been to see it, nearly a week before. All the
icebergs we saw were aground, and several of them had arches cut into
their sides, which looked as if our vessel might safely sail inside and
secure a harbor. We worked up beyond the Lower Savage Islands, and in
sight of the Middle Savage and Saddleback Rock.

When we went to bed the weather was a dead calm, and the water of
glassy smoothness. Not a sound was to be heard save the distant thunder
of bursting icebergs and the water swashing up against the field-ice
that now and then passed with the current. It sounded for all the world
like waves upon a rock-bound coast, or like the distant rumbling of a
train of cars. About midnight Joe called me to announce that the
natives were coming off to the ship in boats. I hastened to put on my
clothes; but before I got dressed I could hear the captain's voice
shouting "Kimo" (Welcome), from the quarter-deck, and when I joined him
I could see two dark objects that seemed to be approaching rapidly, and
could hear the confused sounds of voices in conversation coming up from
the water. Presently it could be seen that one was a kyack and the
other an omien, or women's boat, filled with women and children and a
few men. By this time Joe had come on deck, and at Captain Barry's
request invited them to come aboard. When they heard their native
tongue from the stranger ship their surprise was unfeigned. The men
bought a number of corlitangs and kummings (native boots), as well as
other articles of apparel, and gave in exchange small pieces of
tobacco, a few cases of matches, and articles of clothing that were not
worth keeping. Captain Barry got a quantity of whalebone, reindeer and
fox skins, walrus ivory, a bear-skin, and about a hundred and fifty
pounds of fresh reindeer meat. We also bought three dogs for about a
pound of powder, and a kyack for Joe, for which the captain gave an old
broken double-barrelled gun and a handful of powder and shot. The owner
was in ecstasy over the bargain and Joe was more than happy.

I could not help, however, feeling mortified that such advantage should
be taken of their childish ignorance of values. I was not surprised,
then, when Joe, who has been long enough in civilized lands to know
what values are, came to me and said he thought it was wrong to rob
these people. They were his own people, and from the same tribe, in
fact, so that his interest was naturally with them. His own uncle was
one of the chief men of this tribe, but at the time we arrived had gone
inland with most of the men on a hunting expedition. Joe sent him his
pocket-knife as a present, and also was liberal with needles among the
women, who were very grateful for his generosity. The whalers seriously
object to giving things away to the natives, as it renders their system
of barter more difficult. It would be a greater benefit to all these
tribes to send one or two of their most intelligent young men to the
United States or to England for a few years, so that they could protect
them against the rapacity of the masters and owners of whaling ships.
They could then get something like a fair equivalent for the goods they
have to dispose of. The natives are better whalemen than any of the
seamen who come to this country, and they should certainly receive more
than a handful of powder and a few bullets for hundreds of pounds of
bone, worth about $2.50 a pound. Shortly after daylight the natives
departed, and a breeze springing up we set sail upon our journey.

Most of the day we were in full sight of the land, which I regarded
with keen interest. It certainly seemed the most desolate-looking
region I ever saw--a succession of hills of bald rock, with occasional
patches of snow and moss; not a house, nor a tree, nor, in fact, any
sign of animal or vegetable life--and yet I longed to put my foot upon
that barren soil and commence the work we had before us.

One of the principal annoyances of all sailing-masters in the Arctic
regions is the sluggish action of the magnetic needle as they approach
the magnetic pole, and it was a difficulty from which we were not
exempt. The land all looks so much alike that even when running in
plain sight of it it requires the greatest familiarity with the
principal points to be able to steer by them. During the night of
Friday, August 2, we, by some mysterious operation, got in between
Nottingham and Salisbury Islands, when we thought we were beyond the
Digges. We found a bad reef, just on a level with the water's edge,
about eight miles north-west of the north-west point of Nottingham
Island, which is not down upon the charts, and is situated just where a
vessel running along at night, "handy to the land," as sailors say,
would inevitably run upon it. We put it down upon our charts and called
it Trainor's Reef, as it was discovered by the third mate from the
mast-head. During a previous voyage Captain Barry discovered a similar
reef, about the same distance off the easterly point of Salisbury
Island, which we also noted and put down as Barry's Rock.

We reached Whale Point, at the entrance of Rowe's Welcome, during the
morning of Wednesday, August 7, just seven weeks from New York, and
about six o'clock a whale-boat reached the vessel's side, after having
chased us all night. It was loaded with natives of the Iwillie tribe,
two or three families of whom still remained at the Point, while the
others had gone down to the vicinity of Depot Island, which is half-way
between Cape Fullerton and Chesterfield Inlet. The visitors comprised
two men, a woman, two boys, a little orphan girl, and a baby. The woman
was a daughter of "Prince Albert," a man of considerable influence in
his tribe, and I understood that his power was due to superior
intelligence and sagacity. In fact, all those whom we met at this time
seemed much superior in intelligence to those who came aboard at the
Lower Savage Islands. They were cleaner, but by a mere trifle, and
showed improvement from contact with civilization. They usually
preferred to array themselves in some part of the costume of white
people, though not by any means particular in wearing it as white
people do. One of the men was a young fellow known as "Jim," who, the
captain thought, would be a desirable acquisition to our party to go to
King William Land, and Joe made the proposition to him. He regarded the
matter favorably, and was particularly interested when he saw some of
our fine rifles. His father was an old man, called "The Doctor," who
was dependent upon his son. After giving our guests breakfast and a few
presents we bade them good-by, and set sail for Depot Island, where we
arrived about four o'clock in the afternoon.

The lookout from the mast-head saw some boats coming from the
main-land, and presently three kyacks, an omien, and two whale-boats
came alongside, bringing about fifty people, including men, women,
and children. Among them were Armow and his two half-brothers, Ik-omer
(Fire) and Too-goo-lan. "Papa" was there also, and he, too, is one of
the few savages that are thoroughly reliable in every respect. He was
one of Captain Hall's party when he visited King William Land in 1868.
All these people seemed very friendly toward us, and upon a
consultation over the charts we decided to go on to the main-land, near
Depot Island, to spend the winter. We learned with deep regret that one
of the Natchillis, who was said to have spoken to Captain Barry about
the existence of books among the Franklin relics, had since died, and
that nobody knew what had become of the other. We determined to make
every effort to find the latter, for should he know where the books
were hidden, and be willing to conduct us there, our labor would have
been materially lessened. But in any case, whether we found him or not,
we had great faith that, by staying at least one season on King William
Land, when the snow was off the ground, we should be able to find the
records, and complete the history of Sir John Franklin's last
expedition.

[Map: LIEUT. SCHWATKA'S EXPED. to KING WILLIAM LAND to
Discover the Remains of the FRANKLIN EXPEDITION.]




CHAPTER II.

THE WINTER CAMP.


[Illustration: CAMP DALY IN SUMMER.]

Meanwhile we had need of patience. Our camp, which was in latitude 63
deg. 51 min. north and 90 deg. 26 min. 15 sec. west of Greenwich, had
been named by Lieutenant Schwatka after the president of the American
Geographical Society. The tents that had been provided for the
expedition proving quite inadequate for our wants, Captain Barry got
Armow (the Wolf), one of the most influential natives, to let us have
his tent, one that had been made by the crew of the brig 'A.
Houghton', memorable to us as the vessel on which Captain Barry
received his spoon. The Iwillie tribe moved up their tupics to the land
nearest Depot Island, so as to be near us; but finding they were a
considerable distance from any fresh water, moved again to the spot
where our stores were landed. We had bidden adieu to the officers and
crew of the 'Eothen', and had been rowed ashore by the Inuits. The
solitude of our first day on land was enlivened by the visit of a
ponderous young Natchilli, named Joe (or Natchilli Joe, to distinguish
him from Esquimau Joe). He promised to accompany us in the spring. He
was a fine-looking young man, with a big head, and a shock of
raven-black hair, as massive-looking as a lion, and with none of the
bloodthirsty look which I had been led to expect in the Natchilli
features. He had been living with the Iwillie tribe for about two
years, and they all liked him very much. We felt that it would tend to
assure our favorable reception by his tribe to have one or two of their
own people with our party.

Ten days after we landed all went to the hunting-grounds but Armow and
his party, who were to go in a boat, but it was so stormy that they did
not get off. When the others broke camp and started over the hills it
was a novel and interesting spectacle. Each one had his load, the
women, in addition to their other burdens, having to carry their
children upon their backs. Behind them came their dogs, staggering
under loads that almost hid them from view and getting into all kinds
of trouble among the rocks. They were accompanied by "Jerry," a native
for whom Esquimau Joe had a great liking. He took all his family except
his son Koumania, who had been given to me as a body-servant. Koumania
was an unusually bright, manly little fellow, and, though so young, had
already killed a reindeer. We were all much interested in him, and his
parents were much pleased that he had found favor with the Kodlunars.
His father was one of Captain Hall's party in his King William Land
journey, and was also to accompany us. He seemed like a good, honest,
faithful fellow, and had the reputation of being a first-class hunter.
Koumania came running to me, before his father's departure, with his
face covered with smiles and soapsuds, and I found that Frank had given
him some soap and told him I would like him better if he would wash.
Poor fellow! he had done the best he could, and had at any rate shown a
willing spirit.

[Illustration: ESQUIMAUX GOING TO THE HUNTING-GROUND.]

It was not until Wednesday that the boat party could get away. Most of
the time it rained and blew a perfect gale. We were then alone in the
camp, with the exception of a tupic, which contained one old man, two
old women, and three children. There were plenty of dogs, though, and
we had concerted music every night. I spent some time in making over
some civilized clothes for my boy. I had to take them in everywhere
except around the waist. There he was as big as I am, though I weigh
nearly two hundred pounds.

I returned from a hunting and exploring excursion Saturday night,
August 31, and had come to the conclusion by that time, after
satisfactory experience, that tuk-too hunting is not a pastime. It is
good, solid work from beginning to end, with no rest for the weary. If
any readers have meditated such a task as a divertisement, I would beg
to dissuade them from the undertaking, for they know not what they do.
Before attempting to follow tuk-too hunters over these hills and
valleys, I would advise a severe course of training. We started on the
morning of the 25th, in the midst of a strong gale, which had been
blowing all night from the north-west, and was bitter cold. It rained,
snowed, and hailed all at the same time, and the pelting hard stones
cut our faces nearly all the morning. The party consisted of "Sam,"
another of Joe's friends, his two younger brothers, Koumania, and
myself. I took a blanket and some little provisions, in case I should
be out over night. We walked along, without stopping, a distance of
about eight miles across the hardest country to travel over I had ever
seen, and when we halted to rest I was indeed tired. The rocks and
hills were hard enough to walk over, but the worst of all were the
moss-covered meadows. Your foot would sink at every step, and it was as
much like walking in loose, wet sand as anything with which I could
compare it. I wore native boots, or kummings, as they are called, for I
knew it would be impossible to get along with anything else; but the
sharp edges and points of the stones could be felt through them almost
as if one were barefooted. Do not think that the mossy meadows were a
relief after the rocks. On the contrary, they were but a delusion and a
snare, for beneath the velvet cushion was concealed the sharp and
jagged rock that cut the foot all the same, and proved a more deadly,
because a hidden foe. Though tired when I sat down to rest, I was more
so when I got up to walk again; but, ashamed of my weakness, I kept on,
gritting my teeth and determined to do or die.

It was getting late, and still we saw no deer--in fact, I was losing my
interest in deer very rapidly, and only hoped I might soon see a tupic.
After we had walked about fifteen miles, "Sam" pointed out a mountain
that did not seem so very far off, and said, "Io wunga tupic sellow"
(My tent is there). This was refreshing, and I plodded along still more
determinedly. I would have given anything to have been back in my own
tent, but that was out of the question. It was farther to go back than
to go ahead, and though every bone in my body ached I plodded along,
frequently stopping to rest. I thought we had passed the mountain that
"Sam" had pointed out, and finally I ventured to ask him where the
tupic was. His answer was invariably, "Con-i-tuk-vo-loo" (A little way),
and I began to weary of the monotony of the answer, as probably he did
of the question, until at last, in a valley farther off than I had
originally thought the mountain, I saw the tupic. The approach was by
a circuitous route, the wind still blowing so strongly against us that
each took his turn in leading, the others crouching behind the slight
shelter thus afforded. And this was a pleasure trip! When we finally
did reach the tent, I received the kindly welcome of old "Molasses"
and his wife, and dropped down on some deer-skins, completely used up.
The hunters were naturally hungry after their long walk, and from a
pile of fresh meat on the side of the tent "Sam" seized a large piece,
half cooked, and taking a vigorous bite, cut off the mouthful with his
disengaged hand and passed the rest to the one standing nearest him,
who helped himself in the same way, and thus it kept circulating until
it was all gone.

I awoke early the next morning, and went outside the tent and feebly
attempted to walk; but it was a most excruciating effort. My
hip-joints, that ached like a toothache the night before, now seemed
to be made of old rusty iron, and grated and shrieked when I tried to
move, as if they rebelled against it. I felt as if there was nothing
left for me to do but to walk the soreness off; therefore I kept
moving, though I was conscious that my step lacked its wonted firmness
and grace. After bathing in the lake that spread out in the valley in
front of the tupic, I returned to find the hunters ready for the day's
sport. I took up my rifle and started off with the hunters. Presently
the pain left my hips, or, more properly speaking, my feet got so sore
from the constant walking over sharp rocks that my mind was diverted
in that direction solely. While resting on the top of a high bluff
overlooking the lakes, I heard a faint "halloo," which seemed to come
on the wind from an immense distance. I called "Sam's" attention to it,
and he immediately dropped behind a rock, out of the wind, until it was
repeated several times, when saying, "Inuit ky-ete" (Somebody says
come), he started off down the steep mountain side in the direction
of the voice, and the boys and I followed him. We walked nearly
three-quarters of an hour before we finally saw the object of our
search, and then he appeared perched on a rock against the clear blue
sky, but still too far off to be recognized even by my hawk-eyed
guides. At last we were near enough to see that it was "Alex Taylor,"
one of the Inuits from our camp, who had left with the others for the
hunting-grounds. He had with him his wife and two children, one a babe
in the hood, and two bags packed with tupic and poles. He had a heavy
back-load of skins, and his wife another big bundle. They seemed both
surprised and pleased to see me. "Alex" told me that he had seen no
deer that day, but had previously shot nine, and that there were
"ama-suet" (plenty) farther on. He regaled us with some raw meat, and
honored me with a nice raw deer tongue, which I ate with great relish
after he had skinned it and eaten the skin.

After luncheon and a pipe, we gathered up the bundles and trudged along
until nearly sundown, when we arrived at a tupic under a cliff and
between two large lakes. Two young married women and an old palsied
crone came out to meet us. "Alex Taylor" told me that I was to stay
there all night. The next morning, after walking about nine or ten
miles without seeing anything in the way of game except some deer
tracks, we ascended a high bluff that had been on our right since
leaving camp, when, to my infinite delight, I saw a large river,
which "Alex," tracing the course with his finger, indicated as emptying
into a large bay near our camp, opposite Depot Island. Its course was
nearly straight for about three miles below and seven miles north of
where we stood; then, as my guide indicated with a wave of his hand,
flowed to the east and again to the south. It extended much farther to
the west and north, and from what I have since learned from the natives,
rises between the head of the Invich and Wager rivers, and is about
ninety-five miles in length. To the south and west of where we stood
it passed over a broad stony portage, and beyond that swelled out, as
do most of the rivers in this country, into a series of broad lakes
filled with islands.

This discovery appeared to me of inestimable value, as indicating an
entirely new and feasible route to King William Land, and, since my
return to camp, Esquimau Joe, who had been away with the hunters for
about three weeks, was here for a few hours, and told me that his
hunting-camp was on the east bank of this same river, and the inquiry
he has already made of the Inuits in his party confirmed my judgment of
the feasibility of this route. I named the river after Mr. Thomas B.
Connery, of New York.

We resumed our walk, turning back along the bank of the river, which on
the east side is high and almost perpendicular. We reached the portage,
about three miles to the south, and crossed over to the west side,
which is a low, rolling country, covered with moss, which at a distance
looked like sun-burned grass. The portage was nearly a quarter of a
mile wide, but by the exercise of some agility, where the current ran
most swiftly through the large rocks, we got over without wetting our
feet, and about a mile from the river bank stopped to rest on a rocky
eminence. "Alex" pointed vaguely in the direction of some hills about
two or three miles away, and said he thought there were some deer over
there; but as I had been walking three days now without seeing a deer,
and was desperately tired, I told him to go on if he wanted to, and
take my rifle, and I would wait till he came back. He trotted along,
and I sat under the lee of a rock, taking advantage of the opportunity
to write up my journal and trace the course of the river. In the
meantime the sun sank lower and lower, but no signs of "Alex Taylor."
About three hours after he left me he reappeared, with his hat in
his hand and a heavy bundle over his shoulder, trotting along so
nimbly that I envied him. He had shot two deer, a "cooney" and an
"isaacer"--that is, a doe and a buck--and he had their warm, bloody
skins on his back. He said that there were plenty of deer over there,
and to-morrow we would move the camp up to that spot. So we put the
skins and some tenderloin in a cairn, and covered it up with heavy
stones, and after eating some of the raw tenderloin we started for
home. It was long after dark when we reached there, and I was glad to
find Sam's tupic already up, with his old father and young mother, and
my blankets and a little package of salt, which I had missed very much
while eating so much raw meat.

The next day we broke camp at an early hour, and moved bag, and
baggage, to the place where "Alex Taylor" had shot the deer the
preceding afternoon. Notwithstanding my sore feet and tired limbs,
I took a load on my shoulders out of sheer shame, for without that
I would have been the only one, old or young, biped or quadruped,
without something, so I made a martyr of myself. Just after leaving the
spot where "Alex" and I had cached the skins yesterday afternoon, "Sam"
dropped his burden from his shoulders, grasped his rifle, and, with the
single word "tuk-too," started over the country on a run. Three others
joined him, and the rest of us kept on until we reached the lake, where
our new camp was to be located. The tents were soon put up, and the
boys started off to carry in the two carcasses that "Alex" had shot and
buried under stones. Presently the hunters who went off with "Sam" came
back, saying they had seen nothing, and later "Sam" came in with the
skin of a big buck which he had shot. He is quite young, but one of the
best and most indefatigable hunters in the tribe.

I went out in the morning with "Sam" and "Roxy" to find some deer.
After some wanderings, in which "Sam" got separated from us, and after
several unsuccessful shots at the game, "Roxy" and I returned, I being
too weary and footsore to find much interest in the sport, especially
as it began to rain and was bitter cold. In fact, the first new ice I
have seen this summer was around the shores of the lake that morning,
and I had to break it when I went down to bathe. On our way home we
passed, on the top of a high, barren hill, a cairn, which "Roxy" at
once said had been built by the Kinnepatoos, a tribe which formerly
occupied these lands, and the boys soon threw aside the stones to find
the dried-up skeleton of a deer killed many years ago. "Sam" did not
get back until dark, but he brought with him the skin of an isaacer
that he had killed since he left us.

That night I proposed to "Sam" to bring me down to our tent at the salt
water, and though I could see that he did not relish leaving the good
hunting-grounds just as he had reached them, he consented, and finally
seemed delighted when I promised him an old pair of pantaloons for his
trouble. "Alex Taylor" also came to the tupic and said he would
accompany us, and this made the prospect more cheerful, as I knew it
would be at least two days' hard travelling. During the night we were
visited by a severe thunder-storm, which frightened my tent-mates
because unused to it, and they lighted an ikomer to take the sharp edge
off the lightning; but I slept on peacefully while "Old Molasses" held
a stick so that the shadow kept the light of the lamp from my eyes. It
stopped raining toward morning, but it was still chilly and damp when
we started, shortly after daylight, on our long journey.

"Sam" and "Alex" again got separated from us in pursuit of deer, and I
became so chilly that we gave up waiting for them to rejoin us, and
moved on. At last we could see Picciulok, as the natives call Depot
Island, but it was at a considerable distance, and it was getting late.
The sun was then below the horizon, and we hastened along to get sight
of some familiar ground; but, alas! at every hill-top Picciulok seemed
as far, if not farther off, and finally we could not see it all, it was
so dark. My guides knew they were lost, and wanted to lie down until
morning, but I kept them up, for I could see the stars and could keep
the right course; but the walking was terrible. My feet were now so
sensitive that I could feel every sharp stone through the soles of my
kummings, and the stony portages between the lakes and over the little
indentations of the coast seemed to increase in number all the time. It
was so dark that I could not see where to step, and my feet would slip
down and wedge in the angle between the sharp stones, or the point of a
rock would come right in the hollow of my foot, until I stumbled and
floundered and almost screamed with pain. And yet no familiar
landmarks. I began to despair, or rather to doubt my physical ability
to proceed, when the sharp-eyed Netchuk called my attention to the
light from a tupic at a considerable distance, and a little to our
right. This was indeed refreshing, so we kept on as well as we could,
though we often fell, and I staggering with a strained cord in one foot
and the skin worn off the sole of the other. But there were the lights
ahead, and we kept right straight for them, though no matter how far we
walked they seemed just the same distance off. It was certainly
discouraging, and I could not help thinking of the will-o'-the-wisp,
and wondering if the phenomenon was ever seen in the Arctic. I could
not remember any instance in my reading, and determined to reach that
light or perish in the effort. At last it did seem nearer. We could
make out the shapes of the tents, and finally we could hear dogs
barking and snarling, and before long we were there. We found the
lights in the tupics that were occupied by the old folks left behind at
Camp Daly by the hunters, and found "Alex Taylor," "Sam," and the boy
had just got in; so, after learning that "Alex" had killed two deer
with my gun, "Sam" and Koumania and I went up to our own tent, which
was dark.

[Illustration: A CAIRN.]

These were our diversions. Our business was to inquire into the truth
of Captain Barry's story. Pursuing our investigation through the next
three months, we learned that there had never been other than three
families of Natchillis living with the Iwillik Esquimaux. One of those,
the native who had died in the preceding winter, was an aged paralytic
called "Monkey," whose tongue was so affected that even his own people
could scarcely understand him. The second was Natchilli Joe, known to
his own people as Ekeeseek, who was a child in his mother's hood at the
time when he lived on King William Land, and only knew the story of the
Franklin expedition from hearsay. The third, Nu-tar-ge-ark, a man of
about forty-five or fifty years of age, gave us valuable information.
His father, many years ago, opened a cairn on the northern shore of
Washington Bay, in King William Land, and took from it a tin box
containing a piece of paper with some writing on it. Not far from this
same spot were the ruins of a cairn which had been built by white men
and torn down by Inuits. The cairn had been built upon a large flat
stone, which had the appearance of having been dragged to its present
location from a stony point near by. The cairn itself was found to be
empty, but it was generally believed by the Inuits that there was
something buried beneath this stone. It was very heavy, and as they had
only been there in parties of two or three at a time, they had never
been able to overturn the stone, though they had repeatedly tried.
Nutargeark also said he had brought a spoon with him from King William
Land, which corresponded in description with the one Barry took to the
United States. He said it was given to him by some of his tribe, and
that it had come from one of the boat places, or where skeletons had
been found on King William Land or Adelaide Peninsula, he could not
remember exactly where. He had not given the spoon to Captain Barry,
but to the wife of Sinuksook, an Iwillik Esquimau, who afterward gave
it to a Captain Potter. We saw Sinuksook's wife a little later, and she
distinctly remembered having given the spoon to Captain Potter. It was
necessary, therefore, to find this officer.

[Illustration: CAIRN MARKING DEPOSIT OF PROVISIONS.]

During the first week in January, 1879, we learned that he was
wintering at Marble Island, being now second in command on the whaler
'Abbie Bradford'. So Henry Klutschak and I made our way to Marble
Island, with the first sled that had crossed from the main-land, being
eight days on the road from Depot Island. We had reason to believe that
Captain Barry and the 'Eothen' would also be at our destination,
and that we could there replenish our stores. The trip was uneventful,
except that when four days out I ran out of food through sharing my
hard bread and pork with the natives, of whom there were twelve on my
sled. They had plenty of tepee walrus meat, which was good food for
them, but which I could not at that time eat. So for four days I had
not a mouthful to eat, though I walked and ran nearly the whole
distance travelled. I did not experience much inconvenience from
weakness until the last day, which was that on which we came across the
ice from Little Rabbit Island. When nearly half-way over, and moving
rapidly over the new ice, the sled on which I was seated broke through,
and all its occupants were precipitated into the water. The front part
of the sled still hung by the ice, which bent beneath its weight. When
I was struggling to get out the ice kept breaking off in huge cakes,
and my clothing getting heavier and heavier all the time, I began to
think that I would not be able to save myself; but at last I succeeded
in rolling out upon the hard ice, and turning around to see if my help
was needed in rescuing the women and children, found them already
safely landed on the floe. The thermometer ranging thirty-eight degrees
below zero, we were not long standing in the wind before our clothes
were frozen stiff, so that it was almost impossible to bend a limb.

We succeeded in getting the sled out again, and started once more for
Marble Island. I went ahead to pick out a route for the sled, and again
the treacherous ice gave way under me, and I sank below the surface. It
was with great difficulty that I regained the firm ice, and by this
time my clothing was so heavy and stiff that I had to take off my
outside tocklings, or trousers, in order to walk at all. It was now
about ten o'clock in the morning, and in half an hour we reached about
two miles distant from the island, but only to find an impassable
channel of open water from a quarter to half a mile wide. We could see
some one walking upon the shore of the island, but could hold no
conversation with him. The natives who were with me said that when the
tide turned perhaps the channel might close, and they proposed to wait;
but in the meantime I was afraid I might freeze to death unless I kept
moving. In the course of a few hours, during which I found out that I
could not get back to Rabbit Island before dark, I became so faint for
the want of food that I had to get some tepee walrus from the natives,
and I ate it with a keen appetite. It did not taste as badly as I
anticipated, so I ate a quantity, including some pieces of hide, about
three quarters of an inch thick, which was cut into small pieces and
looked like cheese. After eating several pieces I thought I would bite
off the outside rind, which, on closer examination, I noticed to be the
short stiff hair of the animal which I had been eating. Presently I
began to feel warm all over my body, despite my frozen clothing--a
condition attributable partly to the peculiar qualities of frozen food,
and partly perhaps to the rasping in my interior, produced by the stiff
walrus hair that I had eaten. It was now nearly dark, but we could see
that the ice-floes were coming together, and crunching up a pudge of
soft ice between them. At last the men started out over this pudge,
stepping quickly from one piece of moving ice to another, until at last
we reached firm footing again, though only by the exercise of
considerable agility and looking sharply to where you went. It was a
great relief to be again upon the shore; but we were still a
considerable distance from the ships, and the Inuits proposed to lie
down on the snow until daylight, as they could not see and did not know
the route. I was afraid to stop moving, and proposed to keep walking in
the direction of the harbor. All who came ashore, therefore, started
with us; but the road at last became so difficult that I felt it
necessary to rest quite often, wearied as I already was by previous
hardships.

The route chosen by our guide was to follow the shore ice around until
the harbor was reached. This was a very circuitous and dangerous road,
as in the darkness one would frequently pitch headlong over a steep
precipice upon the snow beneath. My trousers were so stiff that I could
not bend my knee or lift my foot high enough to clear ordinary
impediments, and I fell very often. It was fortunate for me that I
never fell upon the shore ice beneath the cliff, for in many places it
was very deep, and I could not see where I trod. When I commenced
falling I never knew where I would alight, though I usually brought up
in some friendly snow-drift. At last all the Inuits grew so impatient
to reach the ships that they left Henry and me to find our way as best
we could, and pushed on as rapidly as their better vision and greater
familiarity with the country would permit. In half an hour from the
time they left us they had reached the harbor; but with their
accustomed indifference to the comfort of others they failed to
say that two "kodlunars" (white men) were still out upon the
island--one of them too weak and frozen to keep up with them. As soon
as the officers learned the fact from them, Captain Barry despatched
"Domino," one of the natives with his ship, to find us and bring us
to the vessel. We saw a lantern which he carried, and, coming down from
the cliff upon the smooth ice, were overjoyed to find ourselves in the
harbor and but a few hundred yards from the ships. We shouted at the
top of our voices, and "Domino" ran at once to us. I never was so glad
to see any one in my life, for I felt that the terrible ordeal through
which I had passed was at an end. We were soon in the warm cabin of the
'Eothen', where my frozen garments were removed and warm, dry
"kodlunar" clothing substituted. Were it not for the previous
training we had undergone in igloo life, I could not have survived the
hardships of that day. As it was, I felt very little inconvenience,
except from a severe cold, which always follows a change such as moving
from an igloo into the heated air on shipboard. My appetite was
enormous, and it seemed as if I could not eat enough of the generous
fare of our hosts. I soon regained my usual robust health, and gained
flesh at the rate of a pound a day for three weeks.

In the harbor, besides the 'Eothen', and the 'Abbie Bradford', the
latter commanded by Captain Fisher, we found the 'Abbott Lawrence',
Captain Mozier, and the 'Isabella', Captain Garvin, all except the
'Eothen' being from New Bedford. The ships were all comfortably housed
with boards, and so banked up with snow that ordinary coal fires made
them uncomfortably warm. It was painful to see, however, that scurvy had
broken out in the fleet, and each vessel has had an average of half a
dozen cases during our stay with them. They had more than the usual
amount of fresh meat at this season, and it was difficult to account for
the unusually large percentage of scurvy, unless Captain Fisher's theory
were the correct one. He attributed it to the unusual severity of the
fall and early winter-season, which, he said, was unprecedented in his
experience of over fourteen years in these waters. The ships were driven
into winter quarters nearly a month previous to the usual time by a
succession of gales and heavy weather, which occasioned the loss of one
vessel of the fleet--the brig 'A. J. Ross' of New Bedford, Captain
Sinclair, which went ashore near Cape Kendall, on the eastern coast of
Rowe's Welcome during the latter part of August. Though scurvy had been
so prevalent it had not been so severe as usual, and as yet the graveyard
on "Deadmen's Island," on the outer harbor, had received no accession
from the crews. The successful treatment of the disease seems to be to
compel the patient to eat abundantly of raw walrus or seal meat, and to
take moderate exercise, at first under shelter and then in the open
air.

[Illustration: THE SHIPS IN WINTER QUARTERS.]

The officers of the vessels treated us with the most unbounded
generosity, and readily placed at our disposal whatever they could
spare that we required. The wreck of the 'A. J. Ross' had thrown
the care of another crew upon them, and yet they could find plenty to
add to the comfort of those who have another season in this climate and
a long and severe journey before them. Captain Sinclair, though himself
so great a sufferer by the loss of a vessel in which nearly his whole
means were invested, had been a large contributor toward the search
party. They expected to be frozen in here till about the 1st of June,
when they could saw a channel through the ice to the clear water beyond
Deadmen's Island. Marble Island has been the winter quarters of whaling
vessels for many years, though not altogether a safe harbor. In the
winter of 1872 two vessels were wrecked here, the 'Ansel Gibbs'
and the 'Oray Taft'. The hulk of the latter still lay upon the
shore of the inner harbor, but the 'Ansel Gibbs' broke up outside
and had long since gone to pieces. The graves of a number of their
crews are in the graveyard by the sea. Upon the bald face of a rock
near the outside harbor is a list of names written in red paint nearly
a century ago; but whether a visitor's list or a gigantic tombstone to
record those who perished here long ago by shipwreck is unknown. Upon
the north-east end of the island, partly hidden by moss, is a quantity
of soft coal, which was probably left here by one of the early Arctic
explorers.

The loss of so many vessels in these waters is chiefly attributable to
the imperfections in the admiralty charts. The coast line is altogether
wrong, and Marble Island is laid down several degrees west of its
actual position. Lieutenant Schwatka and Henry Klutschak made careful
surveys from Cape Fullerton to the island, and made a chart which has
already proved useful to the whalers.

But our more immediate business was with Captain Potter. I asked him if
he remembered Captain Barry's getting a Franklin spoon while with him
on the 'Glacier', and he said he had never heard anything about it
until he read in the newspapers that Barry had sent one to Sir John
Franklin's niece, Miss Craycroft, which surprised him very much. He
further said that he (Potter) had received three spoons at that time,
one of which mysteriously disappeared shortly afterward. The published
description of Barry's spoon corresponded exactly with the one he had
lost, even to its being broken off near the bowl and mended with
copper, as was the one he had received from Sinuksook's wife. Captain
Potter further said, that to one who had lived with the Esquimaux, and
acquired the pigeon English they use in communicating with the whalers
in Hudson's Bay, and contrasted it with the language they use in
conversation with each other, the assertion of Captain Barry, that he
overheard them talking about books and understood them, was supremely
ridiculous. There is probably no white man in the Arctic, or who ever
visited it, that would understand them under such circumstances unless
it be one or two in Cumberland, who have lived with them for fifteen or
twenty years.

In this crucible of fact the famous spoon melted. So far as Captain
Barry and his clews were concerned, we had come on a fool's errand.




CHAPTER III.

OUR DOGS.


There being no cairn, as a matter of course there was no guide to
conduct us to it; but instead of returning to New York from Camp Daly,
as he would have been justified in doing, Lieutenant Schwatka
determined to make the summer search in King William Land, in order to
find the records, if possible; or, at any rate to so conduct the search
as to make it final and conclusive of the Franklin expedition.
Lieutenant Schwatka was much impressed with the statements made by
Nutargeark, especially as this native's intelligence and veracity were
tested by his pointing out correctly upon the map the location of
cairns which he had seen, including one at Cape Herschel, built by
Dease and Simpson in 1839, and the spot where McClintock saw a boat
with skeletons. Both Hall and McClintock account for the fact of so few
bodies being found, by the presumption that Captain Crozier and his men
followed the shore ice down, and, dying there, fell through into the
water when the ice melted during the summer. Nutargeark, however, said
that there were plenty of bodies lying upon the ground on King William
Land, which would be invisible in winter from being covered with snow.
To verify these statements was the purpose of our journey.

The first thing necessary was to get dogs enough for our teams. To that
end I made a visit to the land of the Kinnepatoos, which is about
seventy miles west and north from Marble Island. I found them in
igloos, upon a large lake on the western shore of Hudson Bay, and was
the first white man who had been there. Many of this tribe had never
seen a white man before, but all were exceedingly friendly. I found
that they had but few available dogs, but succeeded in securing from
them several fine animals by the exchange of ammunition, tobacco, and
matches, which are the staples of trade with these people. I found
their igloos to be much larger and better built than those of
the northern natives. The entrance would usually be by a narrow
passage-way, excavated from a snow-drift, six to eight feet below the
surface, and perhaps twenty-five or thirty feet long. They had no
fires for heating the igloos, and, consequently, there was a clammy,
vault-like atmosphere indoors that was anything but pleasant. They use
oil only for light, and, even in the depth of winter, cook what little
food they do not eat raw with moss. As I approached the village I was
walking ahead of my guides, who were with the sled. It was getting
late, and we were endeavoring to trace the direction by following the
tracks on the snow which covered the lake; but a high wind, which was
blowing from the north, had nearly obliterated all signs and rendered
the task a difficult one. Presently, however, I heard the barking of
dogs and the voices of a number of children, who soon appeared
approaching over a hill on the right bank of the lake, beyond which the
village was built. I hastened toward them, and was shortly conducted
into an igloo where all the men were seated, tailor fashion, around
bones which showed that justice had been done to a hearty repast of
frozen deer meat. They extended a rude but cordial welcome, and
hospitably inquired if I was hungry; but as I had recently eaten a
quantity of frozen salmon I declined further food. I had long ago
learned to relish fish and meat which they call "topee," and which
civilized people denominate "rotten". When frozen it does not taste
any worse than some kinds of cheese smell, and is a strong and
wholesome diet unless eaten in great quantities. It fortifies the
system against cold, and, shortly after eating, causes a healthy
glow of warmth to pervade the body, even in the coldest weather. I can
now eat almost anything an Esquimau can, and almost as much. Though
the weather during the four days of my journey out was intensely
cold--the thermometer ranging from thirty to sixty degrees below zero
most of the time, with a strong wind blowing--I did not suffer with
the cold, except that my nose and cheeks would occasionally freeze. In
fact, if I had no nose I believe I could stand the cold nearly as well
as the natives. Even they are constantly freezing their noses and
cheeks, and there seems to be no way of avoiding this very
disagreeable contingency.

I was with the Kinnepatoos a week, during which I lived upon frozen
meat and fish, and enjoyed myself studying their habits and customs.
Every night they met in one large igloo, twenty-five feet in diameter
at the base, and twelve feet high, where the men would play upon the
ki-lowty while the women sung in unison. The ki-lowty is a drum, made
by stretching a thin deerskin over a huge wooden hoop, with a short
handle on one side. In playing, the man grasps the handle with his left
hand, and constantly turns it, while he strikes it upon the wooden
side, alternately, with a wooden drumstick shaped like a potato-masher.
With each blow he bends his knees, and though there are various degrees
of skill in playing, I have never yet learned to be critical. I can
only see a difference in style. Some are dramatic, some classical, some
furious and others buffo. The song is a monotonous, drawling wail, with
which the drumming has no sort of connection, for it increases and
diminishes in rapidity according to the pleasure or strength of the
player. I am sure a concert, such as I witnessed nightly, would cause a
sensation in New York, though I do not believe it would prove a lasting
attraction to cultivated audiences. I frequently got very weary of it,
and often slept during the performance without giving offence to my
hosts by my lack of appreciation. One night the entertainment was
varied by a dramatic performance that was exceedingly interesting.
There were three players, who walked about the arena and conversed,
occasionally passing off the stage, not by the right and left, but
stooping down and darting in and out of the door of the igloo, an
entrance two feet high and about the same width. As nearly as I could
understand, while outside in the dark the players saw some supernatural
horror, which on entering they would endeavor to explain to the
audience; but words failing to convey all they felt, they resorted to
pantomime, until at last one, who was more affected than the others,
came in and expired in the arms of his comrades. I was intensely
interested during this novel performance, and imagined I recognized
considerable histrionic ability on the part of the players.

[Illustration: ESQUIMAU PLAYING THE KI-LOWTY.]

During the daytime those men who were not out hunting engaged
in playing a game somewhat allied to gambling, which they call
"nu-glew-tar." A small piece of bone is suspended from the
roof by a line made of walrus hide, and a heavy weight dangles below
it to keep it from swinging. The bone is pierced with four small holes,
and the players, as many as choose to engage, stand around, armed with
sharp sticks, with which they jab at the bone, endeavoring to pierce
one of the holes. Some one starts the game by offering a prize, which
is won by him who pierces the bone and holds it with his stick. The
winner in turn offers something for the others to try for. It is
perfectly fair, because unless one wins it costs him nothing. They are
very fond of this game, and play almost incessantly. Another similar
game is played by placing a prize in a bowl made out of a musk-ox
skull, the players standing in a circle around the bowl, which is then
set twirling rapidly. The one toward whom the handle points when the
bowl stops moving is the winner, and replaces the prize with another.
This game, like nu-glew-tar, has no end, and the players only stop when
they get hungry and adjourn to eat. The men all dine together in one
igloo, no women being allowed to be present, and generally demolish
the whole of a carcass of reindeer at a meal. This may be called their
dinner, but when they have plenty of food on hand they eat nearly all
the time. In the morning, before getting out of bed, they eat; and at
night, after getting into bed, or "sin-nek-pig," as they call
it, they eat. A few whiffs from a pipe are always in order, and
especially so after eating. The pipe is passed from mouth to mouth,
without regard to any foolish civilized notions of cleanliness. Eating
frozen fish or meat always makes one cold at first, but presently warm.
So always, after eating the mid day repast, the men pull their hoods
over their heads, draw their arms out of their sleeves and cross
them over their warm, naked breasts, and wait patiently and in silence
for the heated term to ensue; but during the silent period they
resemble a group of mummies, and are about as cheerful. When they begin
to feel warm their spirits rise, and they are soon like a parcel of
good-natured children. When their stomachs are full they are contented
and happy. The principal diet of the Kinnepatoos is deer meat, as that
of the Iwilliehs is walrus and seal.

I left the Kinnepatoo village, returning to Marble Island in two days'
journey, though it took me four days to go. I returned by a shorter
route, and travelled after the sun had gone down, the moon affording
sufficient light to see our way. On my return I discovered another
large lake between the one on which the Esquimau village was located
and the salt-water ice. This smaller lake is probably twelve miles long
and from two to four miles wide. The larger one is about forty-five
miles long and fourteen wide at the widest point. It is known among the
natives as "The Big Lake," and with the approval of Lieutenant Schwatka
I named it Brevoort Lake, after Mr. James Carson Brevoort, of Brooklyn,
N. Y., whose deep interest in Arctic research was felt by this as well
as other expeditions. The other lake I named after General Hiram
Duryea, of Glen Cove, a warm personal friend and comrade in arms, who
was also a contributor toward the expedition. On my way back to Marble
Island, instead of following the shore ice along to the narrow place
where the pack is choked between Rabbit and Marble islands, I struck
off in nearly a direct line for our destination, crossing most of the
distance over the thin new ice. The advantage in this route was that,
besides being much shorter, the ice was free from snow, and the dogs
could run at nearly full speed. To be sure it was open to the objection
of being dangerous; but moving as rapidly as we did there was scarcely
time for the sled to break through, though the water oozed up along the
track of the sled as we sped swiftly over the surface of smooth thin
ice. It was pretty venturesome, perhaps, and I might be excused if I
was nervous, for twice before I had broken through on a sled and bathed
in the waters of Hudson's Bay. But I was anxious to reach the ships and
finish what work I had to do, so as to get back to Depot Island in time
to have all the dogs well fed before starting upon our long journey.

I should here say that the dogs of Hudson's Bay and contiguous
territory do not resemble those usually pictured in the illustrated
editions of Arctic works, which are the Greenland dogs. From what I
gather by reading of the performances of the dogs in Greenland and
North-eastern Asia, and comparing them with our experience in Hudson's
Bay, I should judge the animals from the latter country to be
immeasurably the superior in endurance and pluck, though perhaps
inferior in speed for one or two days' travel. When food is plentiful
the dogs are fed every other day while travelling; but if living in
camp once in ten or twelve days is considered enough, and often twenty
days will intervene between meals. Not but that they pick up a trifle
now and then, and by a raid on an igloo will secure meat enough to last
for several days. Their mode of life forces upon them the character of
thieves, and all their waking moments are devoted to the one object of
making a raid. Whether it be on the meat in the igloo or the
storehouse, or the bag of blubber for the lamps, or the seal-skin
clothing, it is all the same. They know from experience that the
severest penalty will be enforced as a punishment for their offence but
to them the pleasure of theft and the exquisite bliss of greasing their
stomachs with a slice of blubber outweighs every other consideration.

Too often have they felt the cruel snow-stick across their defenceless
heads, and the sting of the long-lashed whip cutting a morsel of flesh
at each blow, to doubt the quality of their reception, and the howl of
pain as they start upon the grand rush is in anticipation of the end. A
raid can sometimes be brought to an end with a good stout club that
will knock a dog senseless at each blow; but there is nothing like the
ip-er-ow-ter, the Esquimau dog whip, to bring them to their senses. The
ip-er-ow-ter has a handle made of wood, bone, or reindeer horn, about
twelve or eighteen inches long, and a lash from eighteen to thirty feet
in length. The lash is of seal-skin or oak-jook, that part of the thong
near the handle being plaited or doubled to stiffen it, or give a
spring that adds materially to its usefulness.

The men acquire considerable dexterity in the use of this whip, the
lash of which is thrown forward or back with a quick turn of the wrist.
That portion of the lash near the handle strikes the ground first, and
then the long seal-skin thong unwinds, gaining rapidity and strength as
the end is reached, and this strikes with such force as to make the
snow fly, and with a report like a pistol. It is not a handy implement,
for it requires time to get in position to swing the long lash. First
it is thrown back, and then forward--this time for execution; and it is
no unusual thing to see a dog with an eye gone or a piece of ear
missing--a witness to the power of the ip-er-ow-ter in the practised
hand of the Esquimau dog driver. Even the boys are quite skilful in the
use of the whip, and dog driving is taught them almost from infancy.
The driver sits on the front part of the sled or runs alongside, the
long lash of the whip trailing behind him on the snow, so that when
occasion occurs calling for the administering of punishment it is
already in the proper position for delivering the blow.

The first effect of the whip is to retard the sled. The dog that is
struck invariably draws back, and then usually pitches upon his
neighbor, and for a while there is a row that threatens the sled with
stoppage. The driver usually takes advantage of this occasion to
administer a general chastisement, each dog receiving a share of the
punishment, whether guilty of insubordination or not. The Esquimau
theory is, that if not deserving of the whip this time he would be
before long, and so might as well receive it now as any time.

The dogs are attached to the sled by harness made of either reindeer or
seal-skin. One loop passes around the neck, while each leg is lifted
through a loop, all three loops joining over the back and fastened to a
long seal-skin line. These lines are of different lengths, so as to
allow the dogs to pull to greater advantage than if all the traces were
of the same length, causing the dogs to spread out like a fan. At every
few miles the traces have to be unloosened and extricated from the most
abominable tangle that it is possible to conceive. This comes from a
habit the dogs have of constantly running under and over the other
traces to avoid the whip, or in some cases merely from a spirit of pure
deviltry.

The leader of the team is a dog selected for his intelligence, and is
one known as setting an example of constant industry under all
circumstances. You will always see the leader of a team of dogs working
as if the load was being drawn by him alone. He goes along, his head
bent over and tugging in his harness, his mouth open and tongue lolling
out, while his ears are ever ready to hear the word of command from the
driver. To go to the left, the command is given, "Ah'-root," and to the
right, "Why-ah'-wah-ha." Then he sometimes, to encourage or urge to
greater exertion, says, "Ah-wah-hagh-oo-ar." To stop the team he says
"Woah," as one says when driving horses. It is the noisiest method of
travel yet invented, for the driver is constantly talking to his team,
calling each by name, and usually following the word with a blow of the
whip, so that the next time that dog is spoken to, he will understand
that it means "hurry up." The conversation with a dog team is
incessant, and the work of the driver is not confined to his team
alone. He has to constantly keep watch over the front of the sled, to
turn it to the right or left in order to avoid hummocks or stones that
would upset the load or tear the ice from the bottom of the runners.

Inuits are fond of riding on the sled while travelling, and as long as
there is a spot that would hold one they will pile up there. But should
there be no place for them, they will run alongside without apparent
discomfort for almost any length of time or distance. This is equally
true of the children of both sexes, and when any are compelled to walk,
for lack of dogs or of room on the sled, it is the women and girls who
have to give way to the men and boys. With a light sled, and from nine
to fifteen good strong dogs, the Esquimaux of North Hudson's Bay will
sometimes make a journey of from eighty to one hundred miles during the
long days of spring. A light sled has reference to one with nothing on
it except the skins for the beds, a lamp and small quantity of oil,
with not more than one or two days' rations of food. The same number of
dogs will drag a sled, with about fifteen hundred pounds of load, at
the rate of three or four miles an hour over the smooth salt-water ice
and snow. When travelling with light sleds all the party ride, except
when necessary to run for the purpose of getting warm. In travelling,
and especially when starting from a halt, some one runs ahead of the
team so as to get them to pull together. When the sleds are heavily
loaded the start is effected in the same way, and the driver, gathering
the reins in his hands, pulls back with all his might until he sees
every dog straining against his collar, when he lets go his hold and
all spring forward together.

It often happens that there are not a sufficient number of dogs, or
that they are poor and unable to travel with sufficient rapidity, and
then the people have to put on harness and help. First the women and
children engage in this labor, and, lastly, the men. And the drivers
will sit on the sled and smoke, with the utmost composure, while their
wives and daughters are tugging in the harness. The women do not mind
this treatment, for they are accustomed to it and look upon it as the
proper thing. In the summer the Esquimaux use their dogs while
travelling as pack animals, and a stranger would be astonished to see
what loads these dogs will carry. I have seen a fine large dog that
would carry two saddles of reindeer meat, or the entire fore-quarters
of two reindeer. His back would be bent low beneath the burden he bore,
but still he would struggle along, panting the while and regarding his
master with a look of the deepest affection whenever he came near him
yet ever ready to fight any other dog that got in his way.

These, then, were the faithful comrades of our march. Before the day
appointed by Lieutenant Schwatka they were ready. We were all eager to
start. The projected journey was one which more than one expedition had
undertaken without success since Sir Leopold McClintock's memorable
sledge journey, which accomplished so much, and left so much to be
desired. We were determined to bring it to a successful issue. Our
igloo life at Camp Daly during the previous winter had inured us to the
climate, so that, though we often found the cold intensely
disagreeable, we were free from the evil consequences that have
assailed many expeditions and make Arctic travel so dangerous, though
few have been exposed to such low temperature as was our party,
especially during the return trip in the winter of 1879-80. Previous
sledge journeys had taught us how to clothe ourselves and otherwise
provide against the cold, and we had already become acquainted with
Inuit fare, so that when the emergency arrived when we were compelled
to subsist entirely upon such food, we did not regard it with that
repugnance that those would who had not become accustomed to it. In
other words, we had become thoroughly acclimated during the eight
months we had already lived in the country.




CHAPTER IV.

IN THE SLEDGES.


It was eleven o'clock on the morning of the 1st of April when the three
heavily laden sledges moved out from Camp Daly on to the shore ice of
Hudson's Bay, and commenced the long march toward King William Land.
Lieutenant Schwatka's preliminary sledge journey in the direction of
Wager River, during midwinter, had determined him upon taking that
route, though across land entirely unknown either to previous explorers
or to any natives with whom we had come in contact. Whether we would
find practicable watercourses, such as rivers and lakes, or whether
mountain ranges would oppose their granite walls to farther progress,
was yet to be ascertained. Its recommendation was that it was the most
direct course, and whatever obstacles it might present would, when
overcome, always leave us that much nearer our goal. As we reached the
smooth salt-water ice, we turned to take a last look at Camp Daly,
which had been so long our home--a comfortless dwelling-place indeed,
but for all that a home--and I never expect to lose a feeling of
affection for its barren rocks and forbidding scenery. Its snow-clad
hills were almost hidden behind the hummocks that everywhere bound the
shore and make it a difficult undertaking to get on or off the ice at
low tide. The loaded sledges were making but slow progress as they
wound through the rough ice, but greatly enlivened the landscape, which
at other times is dreary and monotonous in the extreme. The drivers, by
voice and whip, were urging on their teams; while the dogs made the
wilderness ring with howls of pain or impatience. The men were bending
their shoulders to the task, as the women and children walked ahead and
coaxed the dogs to greater exertion. It was not difficult, as we looked
upon this picture, to realize that we were at least under way, and the
work for which we had renounced the comforts of civilization for so
long a period had at last begun, and our spirits rose with the prospect
of action.

[Illustration: CAMP DALY IN WINTER.]

It was not Lieutenant Schwatka's intention to make a long march this
day, but to break loose from camp and get well straightened out on our
course. Our direction was due east until we reached Winchester Inlet,
where we turned north-north-west and took up our line of march upon the
frozen waters of the newly-named Connery River. The sun was setting
when we halted about ten miles from Camp Daly and built two igloos, one
of which was occupied by Toolooah's family and the four white men, the
other by the remainder of the party. After the first night, however,
there were always three igloos, Joe and Ishmark, his father-in-law,
building a separate one for themselves and their families. There was at
first some dissatisfaction manifested by the Inuits of the party at the
determination of our commander to move always with the entire outfit,
whenever practicable, and never to make portages or, in other words,
transport a portion of the loads ahead before moving on with the
remainder, unless absolutely forced so to do, and experience
demonstrated the wisdom of his decision. Inuits always prefer to move
by portages when they have heavy loads and plenty of food on the
sledges, and such had been the custom on all the previous sledge
journeys made by "Esquimau Joe" in company with white men. He
particularly was anxious to travel in that way, but Lieutenant Schwatka
was resolute, and many days and many dogs were saved to us thereby.

The party was composed of four white men, Lieutenant Frederick
Schwatka, United States Army, commander; W. H. Gilder, second in
command; Henry W. Klutschak, and Frank Melms, with thirteen Inuits, as
follows: "Esquimau Joe," interpreter; Neepshark, his wife; Toolooah,
dog driver and hunter; Toolooahelek, his wife, and one child; Equeesik
(Natchillik Inuit), dog driver and hunter; Kutcheenuark, his wife, and
one child; Ishmark, Karleko, his wife, Koomana, their son, aged about
thirteen, and Mit-colelee and Owanork, Equeesik's brothers, aged
respectively about twenty and thirteen. The sleds were drawn by
forty-two dogs, accumulated by hard work, persistent effort, and
overpowering liberality with regard to guns, ammunition, and other
articles of trade. The loads aggregated about five thousand pounds
on the day of starting; but a large part of this consisting of walrus
meat, both for dogs and people they were materially lightened from day
to day. Our provisions besides the walrus meat comprised--

  Hard bread              500 Lbs.
  Pork                    200 Lbs.
  Compressed corned-beef  200 Lbs.
  Corn starch              80 Lbs.
  Oleomargarine            40 Lbs.
  Cheese                   40 Lbs.
  Coffee                   40 Lbs.
  Tea                       5 Lbs.
  Molasses                 20 Lbs.

This, it will be seen, is only about one month's rations of civilized
food for seventeen people, and was, in fact, nearly exhausted by the
time we reached King William Land. Our main dependence was, therefore,
the game of the country through which we were travelling; a contingency
upon which we had calculated and were willing to rely, having full
faith in the superior quality of the arms and ammunition with which we
had been so liberally equipped by American manufacturers. It is well
for us that our faith was well founded, for there can scarcely be a
doubt that it was this that made our expedition possible. In all other
respects we were probably in a much worse condition than any previous
expedition; but the quality of our arms put us at once upon a footing
to derive all the benefit possible from the game of the country, a
benefit of which we availed ourselves, as the unparalleled score of 522
reindeer, besides musk oxen, polar bears and seals will show. This is
what was killed by our party from the time we left Camp Daly until our
return. The quality of our provisions was excellent, and it was only
deficient in quantity. The Inuit shared our food with us as long as it
lasted, and, indeed, that was one of the inducements to accompany us on
the journey. Some of the compressed corned-beef, corn starch, and
cheese was reserved for the use of detached search parties on King
William Land, as being the most condensed form of nutriment among our
stores, and even that was shared with the Inuits who accompanied us
during the search. Late in the afternoon of the second day's march we
left Connery River, after crossing, with much difficulty, three rapids
where the ice was piled up from fifteen to twenty feet high. The
Connery was abandoned here on account of its direct westerly bearing
and we moved across land to the Lorillard River, which we reached about
noon of the 4th. This gave us several days good travelling in a
northerly direction, when we again took the land, and moved somewhat to
the eastward in order to avoid the Hazard Hills, which Lieutenant
Schwatka discovered in his preliminary sledge journey. He found that
range exceedingly precipitous, and so devoid of snow upon its summit as
to materially impede our progress were we compelled to force a passage
that way.

We witnessed a most peculiar and interesting spectacle on the 8th, in
what appeared to be a frozen waterfall, about twenty-five feet in
height, where a branch seemed to flow into the Lorillard from the west.
At a distance it looked like a mountain torrent which had been arrested
in its progress by some mighty hand and transformed into stone. Its
ripples of crystals gleamed in the sunlight, and sparkled as if studded
with myriads of gems. After enjoying its varied beauties for some time,
I climbed to the top of the bank to make a closer inspection of it.
Tracing its course for a short distance from the shore, I found a
shallow brook which had frozen in a level place at the top of the hill,
forcing the water to the right and left until it spread in a thin sheet
over the face of the rock for a space of about fifty feet in breadth.
Successive layers of ice were thus formed, and this novel and beautiful
effect produced. The first few days of our journey were excessively
fatiguing. The sleds were heavy, and we often had to put on our harness
and help the dogs over a ridge or through a deep drift. We had not yet
become hardened, and consequently experienced much difficulty from
blistered feet and chafing; but as we got rid of our superfluous flesh
these petty troubles became less annoying, and we did not so easily
become fatigued from walking.

During the afternoon of the 12th we came suddenly upon a herd of
reindeer, and the hunters killed three of them. The sleds then moved on
and we went into camp in the vicinity of the carcasses, in order to get
them in and cut up before dark. Soon we saw another smaller herd
running over the hills pursued by five wolves, which we could hear
howling at intervals during the evening until we went to sleep. That
night they came into camp close to the igloos, and Toolooah, who always
sleeps with one eye and one ear open, heard the dogs giving a peculiar
low bark, with which they announce the presence of wolves. We had a box
of Coston night signals close at hand in the igloo, and, knowing that a
light frightens them away, made a small hole in the igloo and thrust
out a "distress" signal with the most brilliant result. Toolooah was
already dressed and outside the igloo as the light started, and said
the wolves stopped and looked at it for a second and then fled in
dismay, each change of color in the signal light seeming to lend
additional wings to their flying feet. We saw them prowling around
during the next day's march, but they kept at a respectful distance.
During our entire trip the Coston signals served us a good purpose in
keeping the wolves from our doors, though I don't remember that the
prospectus mentioned this application as one of the advantages of
keeping the signals on hand.

On the 14th of April the thermometer rose above the freezing-point in
the middle of the day for the first time, and as we remained in camp
while the hunters went ahead to pick out a better road, we gladly
embraced the opportunity to dry our stockings. It is one of the
greatest discomforts of Arctic travel that the exercise of walking wets
one's fur stockings with perspiration. At night they freeze, and it is
anything but an agreeable sensation to put bare feet into stockings
filled with ice, which is a daily experience in winter travelling. But
it is astonishing how soon one gets accustomed to that sort of thing,
and how little he minds it after a while. The warmth of the feet soon
thaws the ice, and then a wet stocking is nearly as warm as a dry one,
except in the wind. During the next day we were passing through a high
rolling country, but with plenty of snow and not bad sledging. We found
the descent of the hills always greater than the ascent, and presumed
that we were approaching the bed of Wager River, as our route crossed
the lower branch of that river, as mapped, well down toward the fork.
The slope of these hills was usually so steep that we had to take the
dogs off the sledges and let them run down upon the lakes by gravity.
This was an exciting but not very dangerous method of travelling. So
rapid would be the descent, that we had all we could do to hold on to
the sleds trying to retard their progress. Some would be taking steps
ten feet long, while others, with their feet planted straight out
before them, were ploughing up the snow and scattering it in every
direction. The dogs followed behind the sleds, running and barking,
some of them, entangled in their harness, rolling over and dragged
along by their swifter comrades. We were gratified to see plenty of
reindeer nearly every day, as it relieved our anxiety concerning our
commissariat. The ice upon the fresh-water lakes where we encamped
averaged about six and a half feet. An occasional salmon is caught
through the water hole by one of the women, who usually drop a line in
after the hole is made.

[Illustration: DOWN-HILL WITH THE SLEDGES.]

The sun for the last three days had been insufferably hot, and my
forehead and face were blistered painfully. It was altogether a new
experience to have my nose blistered on one side by the sun, and on the
other by a frost-bite. During my first winter in this country my nose
was particularly tender. I could scarcely go out of doors without
having it nipped. There is no pain in a frost-bite, but the cold upon
my nose would cause me much suffering when first exposed to it, without
exciting the least sympathy in my companions; but just as it would
begin to feel comfortable once more, some one would run up and tell me,
"Tling-yack quark" (Nose frozen), at the same time pressing a
warm hand against it to thaw it out. The person who has the frozen nose
is almost invariably surprised when informed of the fact. During winter
travel people always have each other's noses and cheeks in charge, and
one readily acquires the habit of occasionally taking hold of his nose,
especially when it feels comfortable, to see if it is frozen. The
frost-bite is at once detected by a white, wax-like patch, with edges
sharply defined against the ruddy color of the healthy flesh. When you
touch it, it feels cold and hard, and as if you had hold of somebody
else's nose. It thaws readily, and without further inconvenience, under
the pressure of a warm finger, unless it has been frozen for a long
time. During the second winter, though exposed to an intensity of cold
that is seldom encountered, it was seldom that I had a frozen nose or
cheek. No serious frost bites occurred to any of our party, and I
noticed that the Inuits suffered from the cold quite as much as the
white men. The skin invariably comes off the frozen part within a few
days, even when only slightly nipped. The consequence was that my nose
was constantly peeling, and at all times as tender as an infant's. Now
that the freezing days were about over, it began to peel from sunburn.
I don't know how many layers of skin were thus removed, but more than I
could account for, unless a man's nose is like an onion.

The sun was now having a very perceptible effect upon the snow, even
when the black rocks began to peep up through the surface, and great
patches of moss could be seen completely bare. The great bugbear of
sledge travelling is stony ground, or a hidden rock beneath a thin
layer of snow that cuts through and sweeps the ice from the runners
before the sled can be stopped. When the ice is gone from the runners
all comfort has gone with it. The sled that the dogs would drag without
apparent difficulty suddenly seems to weigh tons. All hands in harness
and pulling like slaves cannot accomplish more than two miles an hour.
The ice is put upon the runners the first thing in the morning when
coming out of the igloo. The sled is turned upside down, and the water,
after being held in the mouth a little while to warm it, is squirted
over the runners and freezes almost immediately in a temperature below
zero. In this way successive layers are applied until a clean, smooth
surface is acquired, upon which the sled slips over the snow with
comparative case. Now, the ice was usually all off the sleds by noon,
and progress was slow and laborious.

[Illustration: HUNTING MUSK-OXEN.]

We got an observation on the 21st at noon, which showed us our latitude
to be 65 deg. 45 min. north, agreeing closely with Lieutenant
Schwatka's dead reckoning. This, according to the chart, would put us
on the north bank of Wager River; but as yet we had seen no signs of
it, nor did we subsequently see anything that looked like such river.
This can be accounted for by the presumption that the survey was made
during the early summer, when the lakes are full, and some of the
valleys connecting them may have contained water enough to float a
boat. Before winter these might dry up and leave only a series of
disconnected lakes. Fresh musk-ox tracks were seen on the 27th, and on
the 29th we lay over to hunt some that Equeesik had seen after coming
into camp on the 28th. After a chase of about three miles we succeeded
in killing four, which completed our musk-ox score, as we saw no more
either in going to or coming from King William Land. May 3d, we found
water at a depth of eight feet, and on the 6th had to dig through eight
and a half feet. This was the thickest ice we saw of one winter's
formation. About noon of the 7th we ran into a herd of fourteen
reindeer, lying down upon a hillside, and in less than three-quarters
of an hour ten of them lay dead upon the field, and I believe those who
got away carried some lead with them. Lieutenant Schwatka, who remained
with the sleds, said that when the firing began it sounded for a while
like a sharp battle, so rapidly and incessantly were the shots
delivered. It clearly illustrates the advantage of breech-loaders and
magazine guns when game is plentiful and much is required.

[Illustration: THE GREAT BEND IN HAYES RIVER.]

The next day a storm kept us in camp, but on the 9th we pulled out
again and found the sledging in a most wretched condition. The country
was very hilly and the snow entirely gone in many places, so that it
occasioned much halting and considerable trouble to pick out a route by
which the sled could move at all. About noon, however, we were rejoiced
by reaching the head of a small river or creek by a perilous flying
switch down a very long and steep hill. One of the sleds was
overthrown, but fortunately it sustained no material damage, and was
soon righted and landed on the ice below. One more flying run and we
were safe upon the river. We had to congratulate ourselves upon the
good fortune by which we discovered this river, for the land was
getting more rugged all the time, and we began to fear that the snow,
which was disappearing very rapidly, would soon be in such a condition
that we could not travel at all, and we be left so near and get beyond
reach of our destination. The range of hills from which we descended to
the river was from eight hundred to a thousand feet high and their
peaks entirely denuded of snow. Lieutenant Schwatka decided to keep to
the river under all circumstances, though at present it was impossible
to tell whether it was the Castor and Pollux or a branch of Back's
River. It proved to be the latter, and quite an important branch, which
we followed for upward of ninety miles, leaving it only when it turned
due south and at a right angle to our course. The entire length is 110
or 120 miles. It empties into Cockburn Bay, on the eastern shore of
Back's River. Lieutenant Schwatka named it Hayes River, in honor of the
President. On the 11th of May we killed seven reindeer, and on the 13th
nine. The country seems to be filled with game, and nearly every day we
saw two or three large herds. Our dogs get well fed, and are really in
finer condition than when we left Camp Daly. We had the misfortune to
lose one of our best dogs, Toekelegeto, Toolooah's leader, on the night
of the 13th, who choked to death with a piece of bone in his throat. He
had eaten a piece of the shoulder-blade of the reindeer, which is thin
and breaks into fine splinters. The Inuits usually hide this bone in
the snow, as they say such accidents are frequent, especially when the
dogs eat rapidly, as they always do when there is a number together.

[Illustration: THE SOURCES OF THE HAYES RIVER.]

The northern shore of the river is here bounded by high hills--in fact,
almost a mountain range, and as I walked along the crest on the 14th,
the sleds moving along the river at my feet looked like toys. Inland I
could see the rocky hills piled together, barren and forbidding, and I
could not help feeling grateful that we had found so good a road out of
this country, for it would have been next to impossible to have crossed
these ridges with our heavy sledges. About noon we came upon a freshly
cut block of snow turned up on end, an unmistakable indication that
natives had been there within two or three days, and a little farther
on fresh footprints in the snow led us to a cache of musk-ox meat, and
near by a deserted igloo. Equeesik knew by these signs that we were in
the Ooqueesik-Sillik country, and as the natives never go far from
Back's River, or the Ooqueesik-Sillik, as is the Esquimau name, this
was joyful news and we were all excitement at the prospect of speedily
meeting the natives. We followed the tracks upon the ice, and could see
that they had used dogs to drag a musk-ox skin for a sled. This is a
usual mode of travel with these people, who have very little wood with
which to make sledges. Their supply consists entirely of drift-wood,
with the exception of the material they obtained from the small boats
of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror', two of which were found on
Adelaide Peninsula and two on King William Land.

[Map: THE LOWER PORTION OF BACK'S OR GREAT FISH RIVER.]




CHAPTER V.

NATIVE WITNESSES.


We left camp at half-past seven in the morning of the 15th, a sharp
wind blowing in our faces. We had not gone far when the dogs began to
prick up their ears, and finally started off on a brisk run, barking
and manifesting great excitement. The Inuits at once attributed this
unwonted energy on the part of the dogs to the fact that there were
people not far distant, and, sure enough, we soon saw several igloos
about three-quarters of a mile ahead, with poles sticking in the snow
around them--an evidence that they were inhabited. The sleds were now
halted, and preparations made to open communication with the strangers.
The Inuits of our party, especially Ishnark and Joe, were very much
frightened, and said the people we were about to meet were as warlike
as the Netchilliks, and always wanted to fight when they met strangers.
They were somewhat reassured when their attention was called to the
immense advantage we had over them with our breech-loaders and magazine
guns against their bows and spears. In accordance with the custom of
the country, the Inuits armed themselves with snow-knives and spears,
while the white men carried their rifles or revolvers. All the men and
boys then advanced toward the igloos, but not a soul was to be seen.
Two or three dogs ran out and barked and then ran to where the sleds
were halted, the women and children cowering down behind them. When
within about three hundred yards of the camp our party halted, while
Equeesik and Ishnark went a few paces further and began shouting
something, which I afterward learned was Equeesik's name, with which
they were acquainted, and announcing the fact that there were white men
with our party. Presently one man crawled timidly out of the doorway of
an igloo and asked a question, which must have been satisfactorily
answered, for others soon followed and arranged themselves alongside of
him; then all of them shouted an invitation to advance, whereupon we
approached, and conversation between the Inuits became general. We were
objects of great curiosity to the strangers, most of whom now saw white
men for the first time. It seems that when they first saw us they
thought we were Netchilliks, and were in consequence very much
frightened, so that while some of our people were dreading an
encounter, these poor creatures were shaking in their shoes and afraid
to come out of their igloos. They all carried knives in their hands,
but as weapons they might as well have carried nothing. Most of them
were bits of hoop-iron or copper, worked down to a blade, and fastened
upon long handles of reindeer horn.

[Illustration: MEETING WITH THE OOKJOOLIKS.]

There were in the party nine men, nearly all belonging to the immediate
family of an old man, who acted as spokesman. He said he was an
Ookjoolik, but he and others had been driven from their country by
their more numerous and warlike neighbors the Netchilliks. His family
comprised nearly all that was left of the tribe which formerly occupied
the western coast of Adelaide Peninsula and King William Land. We
concluded to encamp with them, and get what information we could from
them concerning our mate and the Franklin ships. We were fortunate in
finding the old man, an interesting and important witness. "Esquimau
Joe," Ishnark, and Equeesik acted as interpreters, and through them we
learned that these people were in great distress for food. The musk-ox
we saw cached was all the meat they had in hand, or had had for a long
time. An old man of their tribe had starved to death about a month
before our arrival. We gave them some reindeer meat, of which we
fortunately had plenty on the sleds, and told them where they would
find the carcass of a reindeer that one of our party had killed the day
before and left on the field because the sleds were too far off to wait
for it. Their clothing was in a dilapidated condition, though
originally well made, and instead of reindeer gloves and shoes, they
wore articles made of musk-ox skin, which had a most extraordinary
effect. The hair of the musk-ox is several inches long, and it looked
as if they had an old-fashioned muff on each hand. They were very good
natured and friendly, however, and helped to build our igloos and make
them comfortable. We obtained from them a few trifling relics of the
'Erebus' and 'Terror', in exchange for knives and needles,
which made them happy. It seemed strange to me that they should be
hungry in a country swarming with reindeer, but our people explained to
me that in winter it is almost impossible to get near enough to
reindeer; to kill them with arrows, which are their only weapons. In
summer they kill a few reindeer from their kyacks, or skin canoes,
while crossing the big lakes on their migrations. The Netchilliks also
kill a few reindeer in this way. In the summer and fall these people
catch great quantities of salmon and cow-e-sil-lik, a species of fish
peculiar to this country, and in the neighboring hills kill a few
musk-oxen. Their main dependence, however, is upon fish from Back's
and Harris's rivers.

From Ikinnelikpatolok, the old Ookjoolik, we learned at the interview
that he had only once seen white men alive. That was when he was a
little boy. He is now about sixty-five or seventy. He was fishing on
Back's River when they came along in a boat and shook hands with him.
There were ten men. The leader was called "Tos-ard-e-roak," which Joe
says, from the sound, he thinks means Lieutenant Back. The next white
man he saw was dead in a bunk of a big ship which was frozen in the
ice near an island about five miles due west of Grant Point, on
Adelaide Peninsula. They had to walk out about three miles on smooth
ice to reach the ship. He said that his son, who was present, a man
about thirty-five years old, was then about like a child he pointed
out--probably seven or eight years old. About this time he saw the
tracks of white men on the main-land. When he first saw them there
were four, and afterward only three. This was when the spring snows
were falling. When his people saw the ship so long without any one
around, they used to go on board and steal pieces of wood and iron.
They did not know how to get inside by the doors, and cut a hole in
the side of the ship, on a level with the ice, so that when the ice
broke up during the following summer the ship filled and sunk. No
tracks were seen in the salt-water ice or on the ship, which also was
covered with snow, but they saw scrapings and sweepings alongside,
which seemed to have been brushed off by people who had been living
on board. They found some red cans of fresh meat, with plenty of what
looked like tallow mixed with it. A great many had been opened, and
four were still unopened. They saw no bread. They found plenty of
knives, forks, spoons, pans, cups, and plates on board, and afterward
found a few such things on shore after the vessel had gone down. They
also saw books on board, and left them there. They only took knives,
forks, spoons, and pans; the other things they had no use for. He
never saw or heard of the white men's cairn on Adelaide Peninsula.

Peowat, son-in-law of the previous witness, a man about forty, said
that when about fourteen or fifteen years old he saw two boats come
down Back's River. One had eight men in it, and the other he did not
notice how many. He afterward saw a stone monument on Montreal Island,
which, when he opened it, was found to contain a pocket-knife, a pair
of scissors, and some fish-hooks, which he took away. He saw no papers
anywhere about it.

We remained in this camp two days and a half, and before we left
engaged a young man named Narleyow to accompany us as guide and seal
hunter. His wife, Innokpizookzook, and their child, a little girl about
three years old, also went with us. Our new hunter was given a gun and
ammunition, and placed in the care of Equeesik to instruct in the use
of fire-arms. I noticed that these people have slightly fairer
complexions than the natives of Hudson's Bay, and the women are
somewhat more elaborately tattooed, despite which they are quite
comely. The children are all remarkably pretty, but the men have a
ghastly look from wearing wooden goggles to guard against snow
blindness, which makes the skin around the eyes, where protected by the
goggles, several shades lighter than the rest of their face.

We reached Back's River in four more marches, two of which were on the
Hayes River, and two on land, crossing from the great bend to avoid the
detour that otherwise we would be compelled to make. We were compelled
to remain in camp one day, while on the land, on account of a severe
storm. The day we reached Back's River was also one of the most
disagreeable days we marched, and it was a joyful sight to us, after
nearly two months' travelling over an entirely unknown country, to find
ourselves within easy reach of our destination. It seemed as if nothing
now could prevent the accomplishment of our desire. As long as we were
dependent upon the snow the prospect was growing more and more dubious;
but with the salt-water ice beneath us, we felt assured of reaching our
destination in due season. We remained one day at Montreal Island, to
look for the remains of the cairn spoken of by Peowat, but every trace
of it had been removed, as he said.

[Illustration: THE NETCHILLIK AMBASSADRESS.]

The day we left Montreal Island two seals were killed, which were
the first since leaving Hudson's Bay. We found the distance from the
north-east end of the island much less than mapped, and went into camp
well up the coast, after killing three reindeer. We again took the
land, crossing the Oyle Point and Richardson Point peninsulas, which we
found much wider than mapped. In an inlet west of Richardson Point, or
"Nu-oo-tar-ro," as it is known by the natives, we ran into the first of
the Netchillik encampments, on the last day of May. The ceremony of
opening communication was similar to that with the Ooquee-sik-silliks a
few days before, with the exception that instead of remaining in their
igloos the men were drawn up in line of battle in front of them, and
sent out an old woman to find out who we were and what we wanted. If
our designs had been hostile, and we had killed the old woman, their
fighting strength would not have been reduced, and it would only have
been one less old woman to care for. They carried their bows in their
hands, with arrows fixed to the strings; but when the old woman shouted
back that we were white men, they laid aside their arms and received us
in a friendly manner, striking their breasts and saying, "Many-tu-me,"
though Joe afterward told me that one of the men wanted a fight anyhow.
They have a custom of killing the first stranger who comes among them
after a death in the tribe, and as we filled that requirement, it seems
he wanted to carry out the custom. At Equeesik's suggestion a gun had
been discharged in the air as we approached, and it is probable that
the knowledge that we were better armed than they had some effect in
securing peace. They acted in quite a friendly manner after we came
among them, and Lieutenant Schwatka and I visited all their igloos,
leaving needles, thimbles, spoons, knives, and fish-hooks with them in
exchange for a few unimportant Franklin relics. The next day we
interviewed an old man named Seeuteetuar, who had seen a number of
skeletons near the water line in an inlet about three or four miles
west from the present camp. He had also seen books and papers scattered
around among the rocks along the shore and back from the beach. There
were also knives, forks and spoons, dishes and cans. There was no sled
there, but there was a boat, which was afterward broken up and taken
away by the natives, with which to manufacture wooden implements. He
was shown a watch, and said he saw several like it lying around, which
were also taken and broken up by the children. Some were silver and
some gold. He said the bones were still there, unless carried off by
foxes and wolves. He had never seen or heard of a cairn erected by
white men along the coast on this side of Simpson Strait, and had never
heard of any other traces of white men here. It was a long time since
he had been there, but he could show us the spot.

Toolooah, another Netchillik, about forty-five years old, had also been
at the boat place, but after nearly everything had been removed. He
had, however, seen traces of white men in the Ookjoolik country, on the
western coast of Adelaide Peninsula, and as late as last summer had
picked up pieces of bottles, iron, wood and tin cans on an island off
Grant Point. Ookjoolik natives had pointed out this island as a place
near which a ship had been sunk many years ago. A map was shown to him,
and he pointed to a spot about eight miles due west of Grant Point as
the place where the ship went down. Ooping, an Ookjoolik Inuit, who
lived near the mouth of a big inlet that extends nearly across Adelaide
Peninsula, from the head of Wilmot Bay, was the last Esquimau who had
gone over the west coast of King William Land. This was two years ago.
He had seen traces of white men near Cape Jane Franklin and along the
coast of Cape Felix. This inlet, spoken of by Toolooah, seemed of
sufficient importance to deserve surveying, and Lieutenant Schwatka
decided to include it in the search of the Ookjoolik country.

The sun exerted sufficient power during the middle of the day to bring
our igloo down; but we had finished our interviewing and were ready to
visit the cove where the boat and skeletons had been found. One light
sled, with plenty of dogs, took us over, with Seeuteetuar and Toolooah
as guides, and our Toolooah as driver. We found the place about three
miles from camp, and, though the ground was nearly all covered with
snow, and nothing whatever distinguished it from the coast on either
side, we could not but be impressed by the mournful interest with which
the sad fate of the lost explorers invested it. To our minds there
seemed little doubt but that this was the farthest point in the
direction of Hudson's Bay that any of them had reached. The party was
a small one, and had, probably, been sifted down to the few hardiest
men, whose anticipation of rescue from the horrible death that awaited
them had not faltered under all their terrible sufferings while they
had the continent in view. It probably seemed that if they could only
reach the mainland they would be comparatively safe. But even the
bravest hearts must have sunk--and that there were many brave hearts
among them cannot be doubted, when the awful desolation of this country
forced itself upon them. No more powerful picture of utter abandonment
could possibly be devised than this. The land low and barren, so low,
indeed, as to be scarcely distinguished from the sea, as both lay
covered with their mantle of snow. Neither tree nor sprout, and
scarcely a hill visible--nothing whatever to relieve the crushing
monotony of the scene--no living thing to be seen anywhere, though the
eye had uninterrupted range over so vast a territory. Even a wolf
prowling around would have been a relief in the utter loneliness that
oppressed them. All this presented itself to our minds as we looked
around but saw no traces of the lost ones. Had we known at this time
what we learned a few days later, the place would have had an
additional interest as the spot where the records of the expedition,
which had been brought thus far with infinite toil and care, had been
irrecoverably lost. We marked the spot carefully, for a thorough search
when the snow was off the ground, and returned to camp. Our guides
informed us that the boat was found upside down on the beach, and all
the skeletons beneath it. They did not remember the exact number, but
thought there were about five or more.

[Illustration: THE COUNCIL WITH THE NETCHILLIKS.]

That night Equeesik learned from two natives who came in late that his
sister was with another portion of the tribe near Richardson Point, and
went there with his sled, returning the next day but one with several
families, including an old woman whom we found to be another important
and interesting witness. She was one of a party who met some of the
survivors of the ill-fated ships on Washington Bay. Since then she had
seen no white man until now. Her name was Ahlangyah, a Netchillik,
about fifty-five years of age. She had a fine intelligent face, and a
quantity of jet black hair, slightly tinged with gray, that had
probably never been annoyed by any efforts at arrangement, and hung
down over her shoulders or straggled over her face without reserve or
molestation. I succeeded during the interview in getting a very
characteristic portrait of her, the authenticity of which was
subsequently attested when I had forgotten her name and her friends at
once identified her by the portrait. It is but fair to state that we
have reason to put great faith in the statements of these people, as
truthfulness seems to be an inherent quality with them. They never
attempted to deceive us in regard to relics, though perhaps it would
seem easy and profitable. In many instances what appeared to us to be
interesting relics they told us came from the natives of Repulse Bay
and elsewhere.

Ahlangyah pointed out the eastern coast of Washington Bay as the spot
where she, in company with her husband, and two other men with their
wives, had seen ten white men dragging a sledge with a boat on it many
years ago. There was another Inuit with them who did not go near the
white men. The sledge was on the ice, and a wide crack separated them
from the white men at the interview. The women went on shore, and the
men awaited the white people at the crack on the ice. Five of the white
men put up a tent on the shore, and five remained with the boat on the
ice. The Inuits put up a tent not far from the white men, and they
stayed together here five days. During this time the Inuits killed a
number of seals on the ice and gave them to the white men. They gave
her husband a chopping-knife. He was the one who had the most
intercourse with the white crew. The knife is now lost, or broken and
worn out. She has not seen it for a long time. At the end of five days
they all started for Adelaide Peninsula, fearing that the ice, which
was very rotten, might not let them across. They started at night,
because then, the sun being low, the ice would be a little frozen. The
white men followed, dragging their heavy sledge and boat, and could not
cross the rotten ice as fast as the Inuits, who halted and waited for
them at Gladman's Point. The Inuits could not cross to the mainland,
the ice was too rotten, and they remained in King William Land all
summer. They never saw the white men again, though they waited at
Gladman's Point fishing in the neighboring lakes, going back and forth
between the shore and lakes nearly all summer, and then went to the
eastern shore near Matty Island.

Some of the white men were very thin, and their mouths were dry and
hard and black. They had no fur clothing on. When asked if she
remembered by what names the white men were called, she said one of
them was called "Agloocar," and another "Toolooah." The latter seemed
to be the chief, and it was he who gave the chopping-knife to her
husband. (Agloocar and Toolooah are both common Esquimau names, and it
is probable the names she heard the white men call resembled these in
sound, and thus impressed themselves upon her mind.) Another one was
called "Dok-took" (Doctor). "Toolooah" was a little older than the
others, and had a large black beard, mixed with gray. He was bigger
than any of the others--"a big, broad man." "Agloocar" was smaller, and
had a brown beard about four or five inches below his chin (motioning
with her hand). "Dok-took" was a short man, with a big stomach and red
beard, about the same length as "Agloocar's." All three wore
spectacles, not snow goggles, but, as the interpreters said, all the
same seko (ice).

The following spring, when there was little snow on the ground, she saw
a tent standing on the shore at the head of Terror Bay. There were dead
bodies in the tent, and outside were some covered over with sand. There
was no flesh on them--nothing but the bones and clothes. There were a
great many; she had forgotten how many. Indeed, Inuits have little idea
of numbers beyond "ten." She saw nothing to indicate any of the party
she met before. The bones had the chords or sinews still attached to
them. One of the bodies had the flesh on, but this one's stomach was
gone. There were one or two graves outside. They did not open the
graves at this time; saw a great many things lying around. There were
knives, forks, spoons, watches, many books, clothing, blankets, and
such things. The books were not taken notice of. This was the same
party of Esquimaux who had met the white men the year before, and they
were the first who saw the tent and graves. They had been in King
William Land ever since they saw the white men until they found the
tent place.




CHAPTER VI.

THE MIDNIGHT SUN.


Such was the statement of Ahlangyah the Netchillik. When she had
finished it we gave her some needles, spoons, a tin pan, and other
articles that well repaid her for the trouble she had taken to reach
us. Here was a woman who had actually seen the poor, starving
explorers, and her story was replete with interest for us. Every word
she uttered seemed fraught with the dread tragedy, and she appeared to
share our interest, for her face was full of expression. At times it
was saddened with the recital of the piteous condition of the white
men, and tears filled her eyes as she recalled the sad scene at the
tent place where so many had perished, and their bodies become food for
wild beasts. It would seem, from what she related to-day, that the
party which perished in the inlet we visited yesterday, was part of the
same that Ahlangyah met on King William Land. She and her friends could
not get across Simpson Strait, while the white men kept on over the
rotten ice, probably at last compelled to take to their boat, and then,
at the mercy of the wind and ice, after losing others of their number
near Pfeffer River and Todd Islands, had drifted into the inlet where
the dead bodies were found with the boat. How long it took them to
reach this place will probably never be known, but there is little
doubt that they were in a desperate condition. In fact, as we
subsequently learned from other witnesses, there were almost
unmistakable evidences of their being compelled to resort to
cannibalism, until at last they absolutely starved to death at this
point--at least all but one, whose remains were found, during the
summer after our visit here, about five miles further inland.

We secured one valuable relic here, in the sled seen by Sir Leopold
McClintock, in Erebus Bay, which at that time had upon it a boat, with
several skeletons inside. Since the sled came into the hands of the
Inuits it has been cut down several times. It was originally seven feet
longer than at present, the runners about two inches higher and twice
as far apart. But even in its present state it is an exceedingly
interesting memento. We have carefully preserved it in the condition in
which it has been in constant use by the Esquimaux for many years. We
met other portions of this tribe at intervals of from six to ten miles
along this coast, until we reached Seaforth Point, where we crossed to
King William Land, and left them behind until our return in the
following September.

Meanwhile we were pushing steadily onward. We were beginning to get
used to the phenomena of the Arctic, not the least among which is the
"midnight sun." It is difficult for one who has not witnessed it
himself to understand the meaning of this portent. The idea of the long
Arctic night seems to be much more generally comprehended. Nearly all
writers upon the subject, whether those who have themselves experienced
its effects, or those whose knowledge is derived from study, dwell with
great force on the terribly depressing effect upon the physical
organization of natives of the median zones caused by the long Arctic
night whenever brought within its influence. Though much less has been
written or said concerning the interminable day, its effects are almost
as deleterious upon the stranger as the prolonged night. Indeed, to the
sojourner in high latitudes the day is much more appreciable, for at no
point yet visited by man is the darkness the total darkness of night
throughout the entire day, while the "midnight sun" makes the night
like noon-day. Even when the sun passes below the horizon at its upper
culmination, the daylight is as intense as at noon in lower latitudes
when the sun's disk is obscured by thin clouds. The long twilight in
the north, where the sun's apparent path around the earth varies so
little in altitude at its upper and lower culminations, takes some of
the edge off of the prolonged night at the highest latitude ever
attained by the Arctic explorer; but there is nothing to relieve the
"long, long, weary day" of its full power upon the system.

In this latitude the sun goes down at night, and we retire to our
couches and sleep. In the morning the sun returns, and we arise to the
pursuit of our various daily avocations. But there, in the spring, the
sun never sets. There is no morning and no night. It is one continuous
day for months. At first it seems very difficult to understand this
strange thing in nature. One never knows when to sleep. The world seems
to be entirely wrong, and man grows nervous and restless. Sleep is
driven from his weary eyelids, his appetite fails, and all the
disagreeable results of protracted vigils are apparent. But gradually
he becomes used to this state of affairs, devises means to darken his
tent, and once more enjoys his hour of rest. In fact, he learns how to
take advantage of the new arrangement, and when travelling pursues his
journey at night, or when the sun is lowest, because then he finds the
frost that hardens the snow a great assistance in sledging.

The sun's rays then, falling more obliquely, are less powerful, and he
avoids somewhat the evils that beset his pathway at noontime. He is not
so much exposed to sunburn or to snow-blindness. It may sound strangely
to speak of sunburn in the frigid zone, but perhaps nowhere on the
earth is the traveller more annoyed by that great ill. The heat of
ordinary exercise compels him to throw back the hood of his fur coat,
that the cool evenings and mornings preclude his discarding, and not
only his entire face becomes blistered, but especially--if he is
fashionable enough to wear his hair thin upon the top of his head--his
entire scalp is affected about as severely as if a bucket of scalding
water had been poured over his head. This is not an exaggeration. At a
later period than that of which I am writing, Lieutenant Schwatka's
entire party, while upon a sledge journey from Marble Island to Camp
Daly, were so severely burned that not only their faces but their
entire heads were swollen to nearly twice their natural size. And a
fine-looking party they were. Some had their faces so swollen that
their eyes were completely closed upon awakening from sleep. When one
could see the others he could not refrain from laughing, so ludicrous
was the spectacle. All dignity was lost. Even the august commander of
the party was a laughing-stock, and though he knew why they laughed at
each other, he could not understand why he should excite such mirth
until he saw his face in a mirror. Then, when he tried to smile, his
lips were so thoroughly swollen that the effect was entirely lost, and
it was impossible to tell whether his expression denoted amusement,
anger, or pain. The torture resulting from these burns was so severe
that it was almost impossible to sleep. The fur bedding, which also
served the purpose of a pillow, irritated the burns like applying a
mustard-plaster to a blister. Then it was that the night was turned
into day for the rest of the journey, and during the heat of the day
the party were comparatively comfortable in the shelter of their tent.
Straw-hats would have been the proper style of head-dress, but they had
been omitted from the outfit, as was also another very important source
of comfort, mosquito nettings. It is in the summer, however, that the
necessity for the latter luxury is encountered.

While the sun's rays pour down with all their force upon the devoted
head of the traveller the reflection from the snow is almost as intense
and still more disagreeable, for there is no possible escape from it.
Not satisfied with producing its share of sunburn, it acts upon the
eyes in a manner that produces that terrible scourge of the Arctic
spring--snow-blindness. It is a curious fact that persons who are
near-sighted are generally exempt from the evils of snow-blindness,
while it appears to be more malignant with those who are far-sighted
in direct ratio to the superior quality of their vision. Lieutenant
Schwatka and his companion, the present writer, are both near-sighted,
and during the two seasons that they were exposed to the disease
neither were at any time affected by snow-blindness; while the other
members of the party, and especially the natives, who have most
powerful visual organs, were almost constantly martyrs to the disease
whenever exposed to its attacks.

It seems the only method of guarding against it is to wear what we
called snow-goggles all the time one is out of doors. The natives use
those of home manufacture--that is, a piece of wood with a notch to fit
over the bridge of the nose, and a narrow, horizontal slit opposite
each eye. This rude spectacle, called by them igearktoo, is made to fit
close to the eyes, and is held in place by strings passing behind and
over the top of the head. It serves to shelter the eyes from the direct
and reflected rays of the sun, but also interrupts the vision so much
that they habitually push it up on top of their heads, and run a risk
which almost invariably results to their disadvantage, yet their
goggles are so unsatisfactory that no amount of adverse experience is
sufficient to serve as a warning to them. The civilized visitors among
them wear goggles of various patterns and degrees of excellence. Some
are made of differently colored glass, from the various shades of
smoked glass to blue and green of varying degrees of opacity; some are
of glass surrounded with wire gauze; others of wire gauze without the
glass, and some are merely a strip of bunting hanging from the peak of
the cap. Of all the various kinds the general experience seems to be in
favor of the wire gauze without glass. They interfere very little with
the vision, and yet furnish a perfect protection for the eyes. Glass of
any pattern or shade subjects the wearer to constant annoyance by
fogging from the breath, which congeals very rapidly upon the surface
of the glass, and apparently always at the most inconvenient time, as
when the hunter is stalking a deer by crawling a long distance upon
his hands and knees, and just as he raises his rifle for a shot his
goggles are like pieces of ground glass. The native spectacles give
such a limited field of vision that it is impossible to use them in
hunting; but the wire-gauze seems to be free from all these objections.
A well-supplied expedition is provided with every kind of snow-goggles,
as they are absolutely essential to the well being of the party. The
superiority of the wire-gauze pattern seemed to have been appreciated
by the Franklin expedition, for many of them were subsequently found
at the various burial-places and at other points where relics were
obtained. It is also said that painting around the eyes upon the upper
and lower lids with burned cork or some dark pigment is a protection
against snow-blindness; but it is doubtful if this method has been
sufficiently tested to admit of its being relied upon. The symptoms of
snow-blindness are inflammation of the inner coating of the lids,
accompanied by intense pain and impairment of the vision, so as to
disable the sufferer from the performance of his duties. A wash of
diluted tincture of opium is probably the best remedy, and gives almost
immediate relief. The patient should remain within doors for two or
three days, by which time he will usually be sufficiently cured to
resume his out-door labors.

It might be supposed that in the utter barrenness of the Arctic
landscape, flowers never grew there. This would be a great mistake. The
dweller in that desolate region, after passing a long, weary winter,
with nothing for the eye to rest upon but the vast expanse of snow and
ice, is in a condition to appreciate, beyond the ability of an
inhabitant of warmer climes, the little flowerets that peep up almost
through the snow when the spring sunlight begins to exercise its power
upon the white mantle of the earth. In little patches here and there,
where the dark-colored moss absorbs the warm rays of the sun, and the
snow is melted from its surface, the most delicate flowers spring up at
once to gladden the eye of the weary traveller. It needs not the
technical skill of the botanist to admire these lovely tokens of
approaching summer. Thoughts of home, in a warmer and more hospitable
climate, fill his heart with joy and longing, as meadows filled with
daisies and buttercups spread out before him, while he stands upon the
crest of a granite hill that knows no footstep other than the tread of
the stately musk-ox or the antlered reindeer, as they pass in single
file upon their frequent journeys, and whose caverns echo to no sound
save the howling of the wolves or the discordant cawing of the raven.
He is a boy again, and involuntarily plucks the feathery dandelion, and
seeks the time of day by blowing the puffy fringe from its stem, or
tests the faith of the fair one, who is dearer to him than ever in this
hour of separation, by picking the leaves from the yellow-hearted
daisy. Tiny little violets, set in a background of black or dark green
moss, adorn the hill-sides, and many flowers unknown to warmer zones
come bravely forth to flourish for a few weeks only, and wither in the
August winds. Very few of the flowers, so refreshing and charming to
the eye, have any perfume. Nearly all smell of the dank moss that forms
their bed.

As soon as the snow leaves the ground, the hill-sides in many
localities are covered with the vine that bears a small black berry
(called by the natives parwong,) in appearance, though not in flavor,
like the huckleberry. It has a pungent spicy tartness that is very
acceptable after a long diet of meat alone, and the natives, when they
find these vines, stop every other pursuit for the blissful moments of
cramming their stomachs with the fruit. This is kept up, if the crop
only lasts long enough until they have made themselves thoroughly sick
by their hoggishness. But the craving for some sort of vegetable diet
is irresistible, and with true Inuit improvidence they indulge it,
careless of consequences. Fortunate for them is it that their summer,
is a short one, and the parwong not abundant, or cholera might be added
to the other dangers of Arctic residence. But the days of the buttercup
and the daisy, and of the butterfly and the mosquito are few. With the
winter comes the all-pervading snow, and the keen, bracing north-west
wind, the rosy cheek and the frozen nose; but with it also comes rugged
health and a steady diet of walrus meat.




CHAPTER VII.

RELICS.


From this point onward our march was attended with the most profitable
results. On the evening of the 4th of June we met a young man, named
Adlekok, who, during the previous summer, had found a new cairn erected
by white men near Pfeffer River, which had never been seen by any other
Inuits. Near by were three graves and a tent place in which he found a
pair of wire-gauze snow-goggles, which we bought from him. This
information seemed of sufficient importance to be followed up
immediately before any other natives should find and rob the cairn.
Consequently the next day Lieutenant Schwatka and I took a light
sled, with Toolooah to drive and Adlekok as guide, and visited the
spot. We took a day's rations with us, to use in case we did not get
back that night, and started with a head wind and storm that confined
our view to the immediate vicinity of the sledge. Our guide, however,
took us through this trackless waste of smooth ice, a distance of over
twenty-five miles, without deviation from the direct line, with no
landmarks or sun to steer by; but on he went with the unerring
instinct of a dog, until we struck the land at the western banks of
Pfeffer River. Arrived at the cairn we found it as he said, "a white
man's cairn" unmistakably, but before proceeding to take it down we
examined it carefully and found scratched on a clay stone with the
point of a sharp instrument,

      MAY
    H XII
     1869

and on the opposite side,

    ETERNAL HONOR TO THE DISCOVER-
         ERS OF THE NORTH WE-

and knew it to be the cairn erected by our countryman, Captain Hall,
over the bones of two of Franklin's men which he speaks of having found
here. A portion of the inscription was lost by the breaking off of a
piece of the stone on which it was written. We did not take down the
monument, but after making a hasty sketch, returned to camp, having
travelled over fifty miles in ten hours.

At this camp we found another interesting relic, in a pine board that
seems to have been part of the head of a bunk or other permanent
fixture, and has the initials "L. F." in brass tacks upon it. This was
picked up on the west coast of Adelaide Peninsula, near where the ship
went down that drifted through Victoria Strait, and may serve to
identify that vessel, thus proving a most interesting and valuable
historic relic. At the next camp, which was our last stopping-place on
the main-land, we met an old woman named Tooktoocheer, widow of
Pooyetah, who was among the first to visit the boat place we saw a few
days ago. We were somewhat disappointed in her as a witness, for she
was so old that her memory was at fault, and she would wander about to
different places and relate circumstances without explanation. Her son,
who was present at the interview, was a lad of about twelve years when
he visited the boat place with his parents, and retained a vivid
recollection of the place. His testimony, therefore, proved to be what
we had hoped of his mother's. All the time he was talking the old woman
sat nodding approval as the circumstances he was relating were recalled
to her memory. His name is Ogzeuckjeuwock, and he is an aruketko, or
medicine-man, in his tribe. The recollection of the boat place was
somewhat impressed upon his mind by the explosion of a can of powder
with which he and another lad were playing after the articles were
found there. The effects of the explosion came near proving fatal at
the time, and when I met him during the fall on King William Land, he
told me he had never entirely recovered from the shock.

I give the interview with Tooktoocheer and her son as I recorded it in
my note-book at the time, so that each reader may draw his own
conclusions. Some of the statements will undoubtedly appear strange,
but in the main they are perfectly intelligible and exceedingly
interesting. Tooktoocheer said she was from Okbillegeok (Pelly Bay
of the charts), a portion of the Netchillik country. She is the widow
of Pooyetah, spoken of by Sir John Ross and Captain Hall. She appeared
to be about seventy years old, and was an object of high esteem by her
people, as was evinced in the care that was bestowed upon her comfort.
She said she had never seen any of Franklin's men alive, but saw six
skeletons on the main-land and an adjacent island--four on the
main-land and two on the island. This she pointed out on the southern
coast near ninety-five degrees west longitude. There were no graves
at either place. Her husband was with her at the time, and seven other
Inuits. This was when she was at the boat place west of Richardson
Point. In fact, she seemed to have the two places somewhat mixed up in
her mind, and Ogzeuckjeuwock took up the thread of the narrative here.
In answer to a question which we asked his mother, he said he saw books
at the boat place in a tin case, about two feet long and a foot square,
which was fastened, and they broke it open. The case was full. Written
and printed books were shown him, and he said they were like the
printed ones. Among the books he found what was probably the needle of
a compass or other magnetic instrument, because he said when it touched
any iron it stuck fast. The boat was right side up, and the tin case in
the boat. Outside the boat he saw a number of skulls. He forgot how
many, but said there were more than four. He also saw bones from legs
and arms that appeared to have been sawed off. Inside the boat was a
box filled with bones; the box was about the same size as the one with
the books in it.

He said the appearance of the bones led the Inuits to the opinion that
the white men bad been eating each other. What little flesh was still
on the bones was very fresh; one body had all the flesh on. The hair
was light; it looked like a long body. He saw a number of wire
snow-goggles, and alongside the body with flesh on it was a pair of
gold spectacles. (He picked out the kind of metal from several that
were shown him.) He saw more than one or two pairs of such spectacles,
but forgot how many. When asked how long the bodies appeared to have
been dead when he saw them, he said they had probably died during the
winter previous to the summer he saw them. In the boat he saw canvas
and four sticks (a tent or sail), saw a number of watches, open-faced;
a few were gold, but most were silver. They are all lost now. They were
given to the children to play with, and have been broken up and lost.
One body--the one with flesh on--had a gold chain fastened to gold
ear-rings, and a gold hunting-case watch with engine-turned engraving
attached to the chain, and hanging down about the waist. He said when
he pulled the chain it pulled the head up by the ears. This body also
had a gold ring on the ring finger of the right hand. It was taken off,
and has since been lost by the children in the same way that the other
things were lost. His reason for thinking that they had been eating
each other was because the bones were cut with a knife or saw. They
found one big saw and one small one in the boat; also a large red tin
case of smoking tobacco and some pipes. There was no cairn there. The
bones are now covered up with sand and sea-weed, as they were lying
just at high-water mark. Some of the books were taken home for the
children to play with, and finally torn and lost, and others lay around
among the rocks until carried away by the wind and lost or buried
beneath the sand.

His statement in reference to one of the deceased wearing a watch by a
chain attached to his ears appears strange, but I give the statement as
he made it. The chain may in some way have become attached to the ears,
or, ridiculous as the story sounds, there may have been some eccentric
person in the party who wore his watch in that way, and if such should
prove to be the case, this would certainly identify him beyond doubt.
While the old woman sat in our igloo giving her statement, or trying to
recollect the circumstances, I succeeded in getting a good portrait
sketch of her, which attracted considerable interest among the natives,
and Ogzeuckjeuwock, who toward the latter part of the interview had
begun to exhibit symptoms of impatience, turned quickly around as soon
as he had finished, and asked to have his portrait taken also, in which
I accommodated him, much to his gratification.

In reviewing the testimony of the foregoing witnesses it appears
confirmatory of the opinion that the skeletons found at this place were
the remains of some of the party who were seen by Ahlangyah and her
friends on Washington Bay. She said that "Toolooah," "Agloocar," and
"Doktook" wore spectacles, and spectacles were found at the boat place.
Gold watches being found, there is also an evidence that there were
officers in the party. It is probable that the five men who had a tent
on shore near the Inuit "tupics" were all officers. It is also a
very natural deduction that the books that were found in a sealed or
locked tin case, which had to be broken open by the natives, were the
more important records of the expedition, and in charge of the chief
surviving officers, as it is not probable that men who were reduced to
the extremity that these were, and having to drag everything by hand,
would burden themselves with general reading matter. The boat, judging
from the relics that we found, was a very heavy one, and copper
bottomed; for most of the kettles that we saw in use among the
Netchilliks were made of sheet copper that they said came from this and
the other boats in Erebus Bay. But the boat was an absolute necessity
and could not be abandoned. There is no doubt, however, that everything
superfluous had been dropped from time to time, until nothing remained
that could possibly be dispensed with, and such books as they had,
besides the Nautical Almanac and Ephemeris, if indeed under the
circumstances they would even carry them, were probably the most
important records of the expedition.

During the year and a half that the 'Erebus' and 'Terror'
were frozen fast in the Victoria Strait, the officers had probably
surveyed the adjacent shores very carefully, and had undoubtedly made
observations that were highly important. Especially would this be the
case with their magnetical observations, as they were right upon the
magnetic pole. We saw some tall and very conspicuous cairns near Cape
Felix, which had no records in them, and were apparently erected as
points of observation from the ships. As their terrible experience
commenced after abandoning the vessels, it is probable that their time
previous to that was occupied in a manner creditable to themselves and
exceedingly valuable to all interested in scientific work. The records
of these observations were in all probability contained in the tin box
which Ogzeuckjeuwock speaks of as having been found and lost beyond
recovery.

An old Netchillik, named Ockarnawole, stated that five years ago he and
his son, who was also present in the igloo, made an excursion along the
north-western coast of King William Land. Between Victory Point and
Cape Felix they found some things in a small cask near the salt water.
In a monument that he did not take down, he found between the stones
five jack-knives and a pair of scissors, also a small flat piece of
tin, now lost; saw no graves at this place, but found what, from his
description of the way the handle was put on, was either an adze or a
pickaxe. A little north of this place found a tent place and three tin
cups. About Victory Point found a grave, with a skeleton, clothes, and
a jack-knife with one blade broken. Saw no books. In a little bay on
the north side of Collinson Inlet saw a quantity of clothes. There was
plenty of snow on the ground at the time they were there.

[Illustration: SNOW-HUTS ON CAPE HERSCHEL.]

Viewing this statement in the light of our subsequent search upon this
ground, I am inclined to believe that the grave they found was not at
Victory Point, but was Irving's grave, about three miles below there.
We saw no evidence of any grave at Victory Point, though we made a
particularly extended search around that entire section of the country.
The little bay spoken of is also probably the little bay where
Lieutenant Irving's grave was discovered. There is a little bay on the
north side of Collinson Inlet, but Lieutenant Schwatka and I visited it
several times without finding any traces of clothing or any other
evidences of white men having been there; and from what we saw at other
places it seems almost impossible that there could have been much there
as late as five years ago without some indications remaining. The
vicinity of places where boats had been destroyed, or camps where
clothing was found, were invariably indicated by pieces of cloth among
the rocks, at greater or less intervals, for a long distance--sometimes
as far as one or two miles on either side, and it would be almost
impossible to escape seeing the principal point when led to it by such
gradually cumulative evidence.

From this camp we went in two marches to Cape Herschel, where we left
the heaviest of our baggage, with Joe and the other Inuits, taking only
the white men of the party, with Toolooah and his family, and Owanork,
Equeesik's youngest brother, to assist in the management of the sled,
and started for Cape Felix on the 17th. We left instructions with Joe
to remain at Cape Herschel as long as they could find enough to eat
there; but if there was more game further down the coast, or on the
main-land, to go there, and leave stones to indicate their route, so
Toolooah would know where to look for them when we returned from Cape
Felix. We took a course but little west of north, and at night encamped
at the head of Washington Bay. Here we left the salt-water ice and
started across land, keeping the same direction, with the intention of
striking Collinson Inlet near its head. Our surprise can then be
imagined when, after two days' travelling, we came out on Erebus Bay,
which we thought was far to the west. This discrepancy was afterward
accounted for when we found, by a comparison with the position of
points between Cape Jane Franklin and Cape Felix, established by Sir
James Ross, and confirmed by the officers of the 'Erebus' and
'Terror', that Cape Herschel is really about eighteen or twenty
miles further west than mapped on the Admiralty charts.

The travelling across land was exceedingly heavy and tedious, owing to
the softening condition of the snow, and to the lakes being covered
with water to the depth of about six or eight inches. In the morning
the slight crust on the snow, formed during the night, would break
through at nearly every step; while during the rest of the day it was
simply wading through slush or water. We found the salt-water ice also
in a bad condition for travelling. It was very old ice, and as hummocky
as it is possible for ice to be. We usually kept near the coast, where
we found pretty good sledging; but one day we took to the hummocks, to
avoid a great detour that following the shore ice would have entailed
upon us, and did it to our sorrow. The fall snows and winter winds had
piled up around and among the hummocks, filling in the interstices, so
that, were the snow frozen, the sledging would not have been so very
difficult; but the sun had already poured his rays upon it, day and
night, for so long a time that the snow was soft, and nearly every step
would break through.

Sometimes we would sink to our waists, and then our legs would be
dangling in slush and water without finding bottom. The sled would
often sink so that the dogs could not pull it out, light as was the
load, and when we would gather round to help them, we could only get an
occasional foothold, perhaps by kneeling in a hummock, or holding on
with one hand while we pulled with the other. Even the dogs could not
pull to any advantage. Some would be floundering in the slush and
water, while others were scrambling over the broken ice, and yet under
all these disadvantages we were able to make a march of ten miles,
through the skill and experience of our Inuit dog driver. Without the
assistance of dogs and natives, it is altogether probable that we would
not have been able to accomplish more than two or three miles at the
best; and I can well understand that Dr. Hayes had so much difficulty
in crossing Smith Sound through the heavy hummocks in the spring of
1861. But at the same time I feel pretty well convinced that with
plenty of good dogs and competent native drivers to manage the sledges,
there is no ice in the Arctic that would prevent an average march of
ten miles a day, with light loads, during the long days of spring. I
would not even stipulate for such an exceptionally excellent guide and
driver as our faithful Toolooah. Such as he are rare anywhere, and
especially so among the Esquimaux. He is not only the best hunter in
his tribe, but the best dog driver, and the most energetic man I have
seen among all the tribes with whom I have come in contact. He is more
like a capable white man, in that respect, than an Esquimau, and there
is a legend in his tribe that he was never known to be tired. It is
certain that to him, more than to all the other natives with us,
combined, is due the success of our enterprise.

When the weather was unpropitious for hunting, and we would be
without food, it was nothing more than the usual Inuit custom to say,
"Ma-muk-poo-now" ("No good"), and sit down to wait for the weather
to improve. But under such circumstances I have known our brave-hearted
Toolooah rise equal to the emergency and go out to hunt for game until
he found it. The others would perhaps go out and look around for a
short time, and if they saw no game would come in, while he would not
get in until nearly midnight, if, as was seldom the case, he came in
empty-handed. I remember one time when we were without food, and moving
into a portion of the country which we knew to be but thinly stocked
with game. The hunters all went out, though the weather was thick with
snow, and the only probability of seeing reindeer was that they might
stumble upon them unobserved by the accident of approaching them
against the wind. The others came in about noon, discouraged, having
seen no game. Toolooah, on the contrary, did not get in until about
five hours later; then he came in for the dogs, to bring in three
reindeer that he had killed a few miles north of the camp. He went out
in a south-westerly direction, and started to make a circuit of the
camp on a radius of about five miles. By this ingenious course he came
upon the fresh tracks of three reindeer, and at once started in
pursuit, determined to follow them until he came up to them. The days
were short, and he had to move rapidly, so that he absolutely ran about
twelve miles until he overtook and killed them. I merely mention this
incident to show the kind of metal our Toolooah is made of; not as a
sample of Inuit character, but as a remarkable contrast to it.

[Illustration: CROSSING EREBUS BAY.]

Our ten-mile march through Erebus Bay occupied fifteen hours, and we
were all pretty well worn out when we reached the shore and encamped,
still some distance below Franklin Point. We lay over the next day, for
Toolooah, who had exerted himself even beyond his great powers of
endurance, was still quite exhausted, and though he expressed his
readiness to resume the journey, Lieutenant Schwatka did not think it
sufficiently urgent to run the risk of breaking him down altogether;
not only out of personal regard for the noble fellow, but, as he was
our sole dependence, losing his services would have been a sad if not a
fatal disaster to the entire party. During the day I shot two of an
apparently distinct species of snipe, to preserve their skins for the
Smithsonian Institute collection. One of them was distinguished by a
sweet, simple song, somewhat similar to the lark's, its silvery tones
gushing forth as if in perfect ecstasy of enjoyment of sunshine and
air; at the same time rising and poising itself upon its wings. It
seemed almost inhuman to kill the sweet little songster, particularly
as it was the only creature I saw in the Arctic that uttered a pleasant
note. All other sounds were such as the scream of the hawk and the
gull, the quack of the duck, the yell of the wolf, the "Ooff! ooff!" of
the walrus, or the bark of the seal--all harsh and unmelodious, save
the tones of this sweet little singer. Nothing but starvation or
scientific research could justify the slaughter of one of these
innocents. I believe I shut my eyes when I pulled the trigger of my
gun, and I know my heart gave a regretful thump when I heard the thud
of its poor, bleeding body upon the ground. When we started for
Franklin Point the next day, Lieutenant Schwatka concluded to follow
Toolooah's advice, and keep upon the smooth ice near the shore, even
though it should increase the distance marched. Our experience of the
hummocks of Victoria Strait was not one that we were anxious to repeat.
We had a short stretch of similar work in crossing the mouth of an
inlet just below Franklin Point, and we were glad enough when we got
through. The thermometer registered thirty-seven degrees in the shade,
and sixty degrees in the sun. There was scarcely any wind, and coats
were a burden of which we had soon to relieve ourselves. The heat while
walking was quite as exhausting as ninety-eight degrees in the shade at
New York. We saw a number of seals on the ice opposite the mouth of the
inlet, and Toolooah shot one which was an unusually big specimen. In
fact, the average of those we saw in this part of the country is much
larger than those at Hudson's Bay.

During the entire day and night small flocks of ducks were flying
swiftly past the tent, and so unaccustomed are they to meeting human
beings in that wilderness, that they would be almost directly on the
tent before they saw it, which only caused them to deviate a little to
the right or left, or put on a little more steam. Lieutenant Schwatka
seated himself on a rock alongside the tent, with his double-barrelled
breech-loading shot-gun in his hand, and in a short time stopped
three--two drakes and a duck. The drakes are exceedingly pretty,
especially about the head and neck. The head is of a pale olive-green
hue, a fashionable color in silks a few years ago, and known by the
extraordinary name of "Elephant's Breath." This gradually merges into a
very pale, warm gray, the line of demarcation between it and the very
dark brown, which constitutes the general color of the body, being very
abrupt. The bill is of a vermilion red, and surmounted by a bright
orange-colored crest, with a black border as positively marked as if of
black tape. At this season we usually see the drakes flying together,
and the ducks in separate bands, reminding one of the division of sexes
in a country meeting-house. We often came upon an immense body of
drakes sitting upon the edge of an ice-floe, looking very much like a
regiment of hussars at a distance drawn up in line of battle. The duck
is not so gaudy as her husband. She is quite contented in a full suit
of mottled brown and olive gray, presenting a texture on the back
somewhat similar to the canvas-back species of Chesapeake Bay. About
half-past ten o'clock in the evening, Toolooah and I walked up to the
crest of a ridge, north of camp, to see if there were any points still
to the north of us in this meridian. We found the coast bearing off
well toward the eastward, and then toward the north-east, and knew it
to be the upper coast of Franklin Point. We also saw a reindeer, which
Toolooah shot before returning to camp.

When we left Franklin Point, the four white men of the party kept upon
the land near the coast, and left the sled in charge of the Inuits to
follow along the shore ice. The snow was entirely off the ridges, and
only lay in great patches of soft slush in the valleys and upon
occasional marshes. We spread out on the land, so as to cover as much
ground in our search as possible, moving along like a line of
skirmishers, with instructions that in case we saw anything that we did
not understand, or which required further investigation, to make
signals to assemble. In this way, before reaching Collinson Inlet, we
found the graves of two white men, near one of which was lying the
upper part of a skull; while within the pile of stones we found the
upper maxilla, with two teeth, and a piece of the cheekbone. No other
human bones were found; but these were laid together for burial on our
return, when we could give a more thorough search.




CHAPTER VIII.

IRVING'S GRAVE.


The next day we stayed at Cape Jane Franklin to make a preliminary
search of the vicinity. Lieutenant Schwatka and I went up Collinson
Inlet, but saw no traces of white men. Henry and Frank, who had been
sent up the coast, were more fortunate. About a mile and a half above
camp they came upon the camp made by Captain Crozier, with his entire
command from the two ships, after abandoning the vessels. There were
several cooking stoves, with their accompanying copper kettles, besides
clothing, blankets, canvas, iron and brass implements, and an open
grave, wherein was found a quantity of blue cloth, part of which seemed
to have been a heavy overcoat, and a part probably wrapped around the
body. There was also a large quantity of canvas in and around the
grave, with coarse stitching through it and the cloth, as though the
body had been incased as if for burial at sea. Several gilt buttons
were found among the rotting cloth and mould in the bottom of the
grave, and a lens, apparently the object-glass of a marine telescope.
Upon one of the stones at the foot of the grave Henry found a medal,
which was thickly covered with grime, and was so much the color of
the clay stone on which it rested as to nearly escape detection. It
proved to be a silver medal, two and a half inches in diameter, with
a bass-relief portrait of George IV., surrounded by the words,

    GEORGIUS IIII., D. G. BRITTANNIARUM
                 REX, 1820.

on the obverse, and on the reverse a laurel wreath surrounded by

    SECOND MATHEMATICAL PRIZE, ROYAL
             NAVAL COLLEGE,

and inclosing

    AWARDED TO JOHN IRVING. MID-
            SUMMER, 1830.

This at once identified the grave as that of Lieutenant John Irving,
third officer of the 'Terror'. Under the head was found a figured
silk pocket-handkerchief, neatly folded, the colors and pattern in a
remarkable state of preservation. The skull and a few other bones only
were found in and near by the grave. They were carefully gathered
together, with a few pieces of the cloth and the other articles, to be
brought away for interment where they may hereafter rest undisturbed. A
re-burial on King William Land would be only until the grave was again
found by the natives, when it would certainly be again torn open and
despoiled.

The day after this discovery was made by the men we moved camp to the
vicinity of the grave, and spent two days in searching for other
matters of interest; but there was still some snow on the ground, and
little ponds in the vicinity of the articles were partly frozen, so
that an exhaustive search was impossible. Upon our return from Cape
Felix, on the 11th of July, we found the snow entirely gone, and the
ponds near the shore nearly all dry; we therefore had little difficulty
in completing the search at that time. Among the various articles found
was a brush with the name "H. Wilks" cut in the side, a two-gallon
stone jug stamped "R. Wheatley, wine and spirit merchant, Greenhithe,
Kent," several tin cans, a pickle bottle, and a canvas pulling strap, a
sledge harness marked with a stencil plate "T 11," showing it to have
belonged to the 'Terror'. We also found a stocking, rudely made of
a piece of blanket, showing that they were in need of good stockings,
which are so essential to the comfort of the Arctic traveller. For this
purpose nothing is so good as the fur of the reindeer, but next to that
well-made woollen stockings are the best. It was heart-rending to see
this mute testimony to their destitution.

At our second visit Toolooah's wife found in a pile of stones, where
had formerly stood the cairn seen by Lieutenant Hobson, a piece of
paper which had weathered the storms of more than twenty Arctic
winters. It was with much difficulty that I could open it without
tearing it, while all stood around in anxious expectancy, confident
that it was an additional record from Captain Crozier, as it was in a
tattered and weather-beaten condition.

It, however, proved to be a copy of the Crozier record found by
Lieutenant Hobson, of McClintock's expedition, and was in the
handwriting of Sir Leopold McClintock. The document was written with a
lead pencil on note-paper, and was partially illegible from exposure.
It was literally as follows:--


                                                     MAY 7, 1859,
                          Lat. 69 deg. 38 min., long. 98 deg. 41 min. W.

  This cairn was found yesterday by a party from Lady Frank-
  lin's discovery yacht 'Fox', now wintering in Bellot Strait  *  *
  *     *     *     *     *     *    a notice of which the  following
  is    *     *     *    removed:--


                                                     28TH MAY, 1847.
  H. M. ships 'Erebus' and 'Terror' wintered in the ice in lat. 70 deg.
  05 min. N., long. 98 deg. 23 min. W., having wintered at Beechy Island,
  in lat. 74 deg. 43 min. 28 sec. N., long. 91 deg. 39 min. 15 sec. W.,
  after having ascended Wellington Channel to lat. 77 deg., and returned
  by the west side of Cornwallis Island.

  Sir John Franklin commanding the expedition. All well. A
  party of two officers and six men left the ships on Monday, the
  24th May.
                                    GRAHAM GORE.
                                    CHARLES F. DES V * * *.


  *    *    *    *    *     into a    *    *    *    *    *
  printed form, which was a request in six languages, that if
  picked up it might be forwarded to the British Admiralty.


Round the margin of this paper was:--

                                                 THE 25TH APRIL, 1848.

  H. M. ships 'Terror' and 'Erebus', were deserted on the 22d
  April  *   *  opens to the N. N. Wd. of this, having been beset
  since 12th Sept., 1846. The officers and crews, consisting of 105
  souls, under the command of Captain F. M. Crozier, landed here
  in lat. 69 deg. 37 min. 42 sec. N., long. 98 deg. 41 min. W.

  This paper was found by Lieutenant Irving, under the cairn
  supposed to have been built by Sir James Ross in 1831, four
  miles to the northward, where it had been deposited by the late
  Commander Gore in June, 1847. Sir James Ross' pillar has not,
  however, been found  *    *  the paper has been transferred
  *    *    *    this position which    *    *    *    *    *
  *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    was
  erected.

  Sir John Franklin died on the 7th of June, 1847, and the total
  loss by deaths in the expedition has been    *    *   officers
  and fifteen men.
                   F. M. CROZIER, Captain and Senior Officer.
                   JAMES FITZ JAMES, Captain H. M. S. 'Erebus'.


  And start to-morrow for Back's Fish River.

  At this cairn, which we reached   *    *   noon yesterday; the
  last cairn appear to have made a selection of gear for travelling--
  leaving all that was superfluous strewn about its vicinity. I re-
  mained at this spot until nearly noon of to-day, searching for
  relics, etc. No other papers   *    *   been found.

  It is my intention to follow the land to the S. W., in quest of
  the wreck of a ship said by the Esquimaux to be on the beach.
  Three other cairns have been found between this and Cape Felix
  *    *    *    they contain no infor    *    *    *    *    *
  *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
  *    *    *  about it.
                                 WILLIAM R. HOBSON,
                                     Lieut. in charge of party.


  This paper is a copy of a record left here by Captain Crozier
  when retreating with the crews of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' to the
  Great Fish River--the information of its discovery by Lieut. W.
  R. Hobson is intended for me. As the natives appear to have
  pulled down a cairn erected here in 1831, I purpose burying a
  record at ten feet true north from the centre of this cairn, and at
  one foot below the surface.
                                  F. L. McCLINTOCK, Capt. R. N.
  *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


The asterisks in the foregoing copy indicate illegible words, the paper
being much torn and soiled by exposure.

We at once set about digging for the record that Captain McClintock
proposed to bury ten feet true north from the centre of the cairn, and
a foot below the surface; but though we dug a deep trench four feet
wide from the centre of the cairn, due north, for a distance of twenty
feet, nothing was found, and the inference is that Captain McClintock
either failed to deposit the record, or that changes in the surface of
the ground have brought it to light, and it has either been stolen by
natives or washed into the sea. Some of the articles found were strewn
along the beach for a long distance on either side of the pile of
clothing and heavy implements, and were covered up with snow when we
first visited the spot. There was a large quantity of cask hoops near
by, but no wood. Even the handles of the shovels and pickaxes had been
sawed off, probably by the natives who first found the place.

This was evidently the spot where the crews landed when they abandoned
the ships, and, as Lieutenant Hobson says, it appears as if they had
selected only what was necessary for their sledge journey. It would
further appear that when the party reached the southern coast of King
William Land after a tedious and wasting journey, and found themselves
fast fading away without being able to reach the main-land, a small
party was sent back to the ships for provisions. The testimony of the
Ookjoolik, who saw the ship that sank off Grant Point, showed that
there were some stores on board even then, though only a small
quantity. It is probable that Lieutenant Irving was the officer in
charge of this return party, and that he died after reaching the camp.
It is also probable that these people, who, according to the Ookjoolik
testimony, drifted with the ship to the island of Grant Point, were
also of this party, and, with the sailors' instinct, preferred to stick
to the ship to returning to the already famishing party which they left
with scarcely any better prospects on the south coast. The appearance
of the boat place on Erebus Bay seems to indicate that it floated
ashore after the ice broke up, and had previously been abandoned by
those who were able to walk. That skeletons were found in the boat by
those who saw it before it was destroyed, and near by by our party,
would seem to indicate that the whole party were in a desperate
condition at the time, otherwise the helpless ones would not have been
abandoned.

Such a state of affairs could scarcely have occurred on their southern
trip, and is a strong indication of a return party. Lieutenant Irving's
death had not occurred when they first left the vicinity of Cape Jane
Franklin, or it would have been mentioned in Captain Crozier's record,
which was written the day before they started for Back's River. That
the boat on Erebus Bay drifted in, is evident from its being found just
at high-water mark, where the debris are still visible. At the time the
party returned under Lieutenant Irving the sleds could not have been
dragged along that line, as the snow would have been off the ground
just then, and probably was gone when the large party got so far on
their way south, as the testimony of the natives who met them in
Washington Bay shows that they moved exceedingly slow by. That there
were men on the ship that drifted down Victoria Strait is additional
reason for believing that they returned, for Captain Crozier in his
record accounts for all the survivors being with him. It is possible
that those who went out to the ship were caught there by the ice
breaking up, and could not rejoin their companions on the shore, if
indeed there were any there, which is doubtful, for we saw no skeletons
at the camping place except Lieutenant Irving's. The ice broke up in
Erebus Bay and Victoria Strait the year we were there on the 24th of
July, and it is probable that it was as late in the season when the
return party reached the camp near Lieutenant Irving's grave.

We left Irving Bay on the 30th of June, caching all our heavy stuff in
order to lighten the sled as much as possible, and reached Cape Felix
on the 3d of July, having lain over one day on the north side of Wall
Bay. We saw no traces of the Franklin expedition until we arrived at
our place of encampment, near Cape Felix. The walking, however, was
developing new tortures for us every day. We were either wading through
the hill-side torrents or lakes, which, frozen on the bottom, made the
footing exceedingly treacherous, or else with seal skin boots, rendered
soft by constant wetting, painfully plodding over sharp clay stones,
set firmly in the ground, with the edges pointing up, or lying flat and
slipping as we stepped upon them and sliding the unwary foot into a
crevice that would seemingly wrench it from the body. These are some of
the features of a walk on King William Land, and yet we moved about ten
miles a day, and made as thorough a search as was possible. All rocky
places that looked anything like opened graves or torn-down cairns--in
fact, all places where stones of any kind seemed to have been gathered
together by human hands--were examined, and by spreading out at such
intervals as the nature of the ground indicated, covered the greatest
amount of territory. Lieutenant Schwatka carried his double-barrelled
shotgun and killed a great many ducks and geese, and I, with my Sharp's
rifle, got an occasional reindeer. We were now on a meat diet
exclusively, and, as most of it was eaten almost as soon as killed, we
all suffered more or less from diarrhoea. Nor did we have any other
food until nine months later, when we reached the ship 'George and
Mary', at Marble Island, except a few pounds of corn starch, which
we had left at Cape Herschel when we started for Cape Felix on the 17th
of June. In due course of time, however, we got used to the diet, and
experienced no greater inconvenience from it than did our native
companions.

Where we encamped, which was about three miles south of Cape Felix,
was what appeared to be a torn-down cairn, and a quantity of canvas
and coarse red woollen stuff, pieces of blue cloth, broken bottles,
and other similar stuff, showing that there had been a permanent
camping place here from the vessels, while a piece of an ornamented
china tea-cup, and cans of preserved potatoes showed that it was in
charge of an officer.

Our flag waved from the highest point of King William Land throughout
the day following, which we were altogether too patriotic to forget was
Independence Day. After firing a national salute from our rifles and
shotguns our day's work was resumed. Henry and Frank were sent to
explore the two points further along the coast, while Lieutenant
Schwatka and I searched the vicinity of the camp and about a mile
inland. It was a dismal, foggy day, but we derived great comfort from
occasional glimpses of our country's flag through the lifting fog, the
only inspiriting sight in this desolate wilderness--a region that fully
illustrates "the abomination of desolation" spoken of by Jeremiah the
prophet.

The next day Lieutenant Schwatka went further inland, Frank and Henry
down the coast, and I took Toolooah, with the sled, and went around the
point toward Cape Sidney, keeping well out on the ice, to see if any
cairn might have been erected to attract attention from that direction.
On the way we stopped and took down a cairn that I had seen on the day
of our arrival. We found nothing in it, though, the earth beneath it
being soft, we dug far down in the hope of finding something to account
for its existence, as Toolooah believed, though he was not certain,
that it was a white man's cairn. I did not go as far as Cape Sidney,
which had been my intention, as a thick fog, which came up as we left
the cairn, rendered the trip useless for the purpose intended, as we
could only get occasional glimpses of the shore, and could not see
inland at all.

Lieutenant Schwatka found a well-built cairn or pillar seven feet high,
on a high hill about two miles back from the coast, and took it down
very carefully without meeting with any record or mark whatever. It was
on a very prominent hill, from which could plainly be seen the trend of
the coast on both the eastern and western shores, and would most
certainly have attracted the attention of any vessels following in the
route of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror', though hidden by intervening hills
from those walking along the coast. The next day Frank, Toolooah, and
I went with Lieutenant Schwatka to take another look in the vicinity of
the cairn, and to see if, with a spy-glass, we could discover any other
cairn looking from that hill, but without success. It seemed unfortunate
that probably the only cairn left standing on King William Land, built
by the hands of white men, should have had no record left in it, as
there it might have been well preserved. When satisfied that no document
had been left there, the inference was that it had been erected in the
pursuit of the scientific work of the expedition, or that it had been
used in alignment with some other object to watch the drift of the
ships. Before leaving we rebuilt the cairn, and deposited in it a record
of the work of the Franklin search party to date.




CHAPTER IX.

ARCTIC COSTUMES.


We left Cape Felix on the 7th of July, reluctantly satisfied that Sir
John Franklin had not been buried in that vicinity. The minuteness of
our search will appear in the number of exploded percussion caps, shot,
and other small articles that were found in various places. The Inuits
who were with us evinced a most remarkable interest in our labors, and
with their eagle eyes were ever finding things that would have escaped
our attention. Everything they did not fully understand they brought to
us, and though many of such things were of no account they were not
discouraged. Since Toolooah had found the inscription scratched on a
clay stone on the monument erected by Captain Hall over the remains
near Pfeffer River, he had always been watchful, and often, while away
from camp hunting, he has come upon a stone near a demolished cairn, or
on some conspicuous place which had marks on that he thought might be
writing. These he invariably brought into camp, though often compelled
to carry them a long distance, in addition to a load of meat. We always
praised his efforts in that line, and were pleased to notice that he
did not get discouraged by repeated failures to discover something of
interest. He is as untiring in his efforts to aid us in our search as
in securing food, and there is always a degree of intelligence
displayed in whatever he undertakes that is wholly foreign to the Inuit
character. Even the stones that he brought into camp bore marks that
were most astonishingly like writing. You could almost read them. If we
had not been so straitened for transportation we would have brought
some of these remarkable specimens home.

As far as we had now progressed scarcely anything had given us more
trouble than the question of clothing. In countries where tailors and
dressmakers are abundant, clothing is a matter of very little labor to
the masses--in fact, it simply resolves itself into a question of
pecuniary resources. The dwellers in civilized cities can, therefore,
scarcely appreciate the toil which all must share to secure the
necessary garments to protect those who live in the highest latitudes.

In the fur of the reindeer nature has provided the best possible
protection from the cold, with the least amount of weight to the
wearer. It might be possible to cover one's self with a sufficient
quantity of woollen clothing to guard against the severest weather
in the north, but it would require a man of immense muscular power
to sustain the load. Two suits of reindeer clothing, weighing in all
about five pounds, are quite ample for any season, and are only worn
in the coldest weather. At other times one suit is all that is
necessary. The inner coat is made of the skin of the reindeer killed
in the early summer, when the hair is short and as soft as velvet,
and is worn with the hairy side next to the bare skin. It is at first
difficult for one to persuade himself that he will be warmer without
his woollen undershirts than with them; but he is not long in
acquiring the knowledge of this fact from experience. The trousers
are made of the same material, as are also the stockings that complete
his inner attire, or, so to speak, his suit of underclothing. This
inner suit--with the addition of a pair of seal or reindeer skin
slippers, with the hair outside, and a pair of seal-skin boots from
which the hair has been removed, with soles of walrus or okejook skin,
and drawing-strings which fasten them just below the knee--comprises
his spring, summer, and fall costume. The boots have also an additional
string passing through loops on the side, over the instep and behind
the heel, which makes them fit comfortably to the ankle.

In winter seal-skin is entirely discarded by the native Esquimaux as
too cold, and boots of reindeer skin, called mit-co-lee-lee', from the
leg of the animal, are substituted, and snow-shoes of the same sort of
skin, with the hair inside, and a false sole of skin from the face of
the buck, with the hair outside, complete the covering of his feet.
This hairy sole not only deadens the sound of his footsteps upon the
hard snow, but makes his feet much warmer, as it has the same effect as
if he were walking upon a carpet of furs instead of upon the naked
snow. In cold or windy weather, when out of doors, the native puts on
another coat, called a koo'-lee-tar, which is made of skin with heavier
fur, from the animal killed in the fall.

The winter skins, with the heaviest and longest fur, are seldom used
for clothing if a sufficient supply of the fall and summer skins has
been secured. They are principally used for making what might be called
the mattress of the bed. Sometimes, however, in the severest weather, a
coat made of the heavy skin is worn when the hunter has to sit by a
seal's blow-hole for hours at a time, without the least motion, waiting
for the animal to come up and blow. In cold weather, when out of doors,
he also wears an outside pair of trousers, called see'-ler-par, which
are worn with the hair outside (all trousers are called kok'-e-lee, the
outside see'-ler-par, and the inside ones e'-loo-par). The inside coat
is called an ar-tee'-gee, and is made like a sack, with a tail
attached, and a hood which can be pulled up over the head at pleasure.
The kok'-e-lee are both made with a drawing-string at the waist, and
only reach a short distance below the knee. They are very wide there,
so that when the wearer sits down his bare knee is exposed. This is not
as disagreeable to the wearer, even in that climate, as one would
naturally suppose, but is really more unpleasant for the spectator, for
he not only sees the bare knee but the film of dirt that incases it.
The coats are very loose also, and expose the bare skin of the stomach
when the wearer reaches his hands above his head.

The coats of the women differ from those of the men only in having a
short tail in front, and a much longer one behind. They also have a
loose bag on each shoulder, and the hood is much longer than the men
wear. The women's outside coats are always made of the short hair, the
same as are their ar-tee'-gee. Their trousers reach further below the
knee, fit closer to the leg, and are worn with the hairy side out.
Women never wear but the one pair in any weather. Their stockings and
boots are made with a sort of wing extension at the ankle, and, coming
up over the bottom of the trousers, have a long strip, by which they
are fastened to the belt that also sustains their trousers at the
waist.

To secure the necessary amount of skins for his family taxes the skill
of the best hunter, for they must be secured in the summer and fall.
Each adult requires six skins for his outfit, besides the number for
the bedding. Take, then, an average family of a hunter, two wives and
three children, and he must have for the adults eighteen skins, eleven
for the children, three for his blanket--one blanket is enough for the
entire family to sleep under--and about five for the mattress--a total
of thirty-seven skins. This is more than many of them can secure during
the short season of good fur; but others may kill many more, now that
they are supplied with fire-arms, and those who have a surplus will
always supply the actual needs of the more unfortunate; but often much
suffering occurs before their wants are met.

When a hunter kills a reindeer, the first thing he does is to skin it;
then he eats some of the warm, quivering flesh. This is a very
important part of his task. He cuts it open and removes the entrails,
and, making a sack of the reticulated stomach, fills it with the blood
that is found in the cavity of the body. He then regales himself with
some of the spinach-like contents of the paunch, and, by way of filling
in the time and the little crinkles in his stomach, cuts off and eats
such little portions of fat as are exposed in the process of
butchering. He then looks around for a stony place and deposits the
carcass conveniently near it, together with the entrails and the bag of
blood. Before cutting the body open it is turned back up, and the strip
of muscles along each side of the backbone is removed, together with
the sinew that covers it. Over this also lies the layer of tallow
(tood-noo) when the animal is fat, as is usually the case in the summer
and fall. The head is then severed from the body and placed on top of
the rest of the meat, so that when the entire mass is covered with
about a ton weight of large stones it is considered secure from the
ravages of foxes and wolves. Not so, however, from the wolverine and
bear--they can open any newly made cache; but after the snows have
fallen, and the stones and meat are frozen in one compact mass, it
requires the ingenuity of man to remove it. This is done by loosening
as large a stone as possible with the foot, and with this stone as a
battering-ram another and larger one is loosened, which in turn serves
as the battering-ram to loosen the others. Often it is found necessary
to use a narrow, wedge-like stone as a lever, or to force the other
stones apart. The cache is always made more conspicuous by leaving the
antlers to protrude above the stones.

After his meat has been secured and he has refreshed himself with a
pipe, the hunter makes a bundle of the skin and the meat attached to
the sinew and tallow, and wends his way to his tupic, where his wife or
wives await him. His favorite wife takes the meat (oo-le-oo-she-nee)
and strips the sinew (oo-le-oo-tic) from it by holding the meat in her
teeth while she cuts the sinew from it with her knife, which is shaped
like a currier's knife. She then chews off the meat that still adheres
to the sinew until it is perfectly clean, and hangs it up to dry, when
it is separated into its fibres and becomes thread (ever-loo). In the
meantime the other wife, with her teeth, cleans the fleshy side of the
skin of the meat and fat that may still adhere to it, and if the sun is
still shining stretches the skin upon the ground to dry, holding it in
place by small stones placed around the edge. At night the skins are
brought into the tent to keep them away from the dogs, and they are
again put out in the sun every day until thoroughly dried. They should
be dried as soon after killing as possible, in order that they may be
in the best condition to preserve the fur.

According to the old traditions and customs--the Mosaic law of the
Esquimaux, so to speak--no work of any kind, except the drying of them,
can be done upon new skins until the ice has formed sufficiently
thickly upon the salt water to permit the hunter to seek the seal at
his agloo or blow-hole. Until that time they are put carefully away in
the tent, and have to be carried from point to point in their nomadic
mode of life, or cached away where they will be presumably secure from
the ravages of dogs and wild animals. When the season for making the
new clothing arrives, that is, when the winter styles come out, then
the work begins. The skins are dressed by the men, because it is hard
work and beyond the power of most women, if they are required to be
nicely dressed. Only one skin is prepared at a time. There is generally
an old man at the head of each family of sons, or sons-in-law, or young
men whom he has brought up and taught to hunt. The entire stock of the
family is then spread out upon the ground some fine day, without regard
to individual claims as having secured them, and are apportioned out by
the patriarch--these for this son's outfit, these for his wife and
children, those for the other hunter and his family, and these extra
fine ones for the patriarch's own use and for his wives.

The clothing for the men must be made first, for they are the lords,
and then they need them first as they must go out hunting, and should
be made as comfortable as possible. The two skins that are to become
his inside coat, and the one for his inner trousers--his dress suit,
as it were--are selected, and the women dampen the fleshy side with
water that is warmed in their mouths and squirted on the skin, to be
spread evenly over the surface with their hands. They are then folded
over, with the damp side in, and put aside where they will not freeze
until the next day. After arising in the morning, and a breakfast of
raw meat, followed by a pipe, he removes his coat, and, with nothing on
from his waist up but the usual dirt, he sits upon his bed, and with a
bone scraper, called a suk-koo, goes over every particle of the skin
upon the fleshy side, breaking it thoroughly and stretching it. Then
comes the woman's first part of the work. It is not considered best to
dry the skin over a lamp, because it has a tendency to harden it
somewhat. It should be dried gradually, and by the heat of the body, so
the woman wraps it around the upper part of her body, next to her skin,
and sits at work until it is thoroughly dried. One who has never had
the experience of exhausting his caloric for the purpose of drying a
wet blanket can have but a vague idea of the exquisite torture of
sitting in a temperature far below zero with no covering upon his
shoulders but a damp reindeer skin. It may not be unhealthy, and
perhaps a physician of the water-cure practice might recommend it for
certain ailments, but it would never become popular as a pleasurable
pastime. At night the other two skins are put in the bed, one beneath
and the other over the sleepers, and by morning are dry. But it seems
almost a miracle that the occupants escape a severe attack of
inflammatory rheumatism. In the morning the man again peels for work,
and with a suk-koo of stone, that has a sharp edge, scrapes off every
particle of the fleshy membrane until the skin becomes soft and pliant,
and assumes a delicate cream-like color.

Only the skins of the does are used for clothing or the sleeping
blanket. Buck skins, which are much less pliable compose the
underlayers of the bed, and these are not scraped, but merely stretched
on a frame while drying. The skin of a young buck is, however,
sometimes used for making the trousers, and is nearly as fine in
texture as the skin of the doe. The skins are now nearly ready for
cutting out and sewing, but first have to be chewed, which is also
women's work.

A man can scrape two skins in a day, and some of the women--many
of them are, indeed, very skillful with their crude, home-made
needles--can make a coat in two days, and a pair of trousers in one
day. Some of the young men, whose wives are good tailors, affect
considerable ornamentation upon the inside coat; but this is usually
seen in the trimming that surrounds the lower edge and the border of
the hood. Successive narrow strips of white and black fur, with very
short hair, compose this trimming, and the lower edge is finished with
fringe made of thin skin, which is quite ornamental in effect. It also
aids in keeping out the wind, and is, therefore, useful as well. The
outside coat is sometimes surrounded with a border of white fur, with
the fringe attached of longer hair than that upon the inner coat. Some
of the belles, and indeed some of the women whose beauty is a thing of
the past, wear a breastplate of beadwork, which is further decorated
with a fringe of reindeer teeth that has a most ghastly effect--they
look so much like human teeth. The style of costume differs but little
among the various tribes of North America; but in any part of the
country the labor of producing the clothing is the same, and if a man
would dress well he must work hard--he cannot order his suit from a
confiding tailor. It has its advantages and disadvantages. He has no
tailor's bills to avoid the payment of, but he must depend upon himself
and a loving and skilful wife.




CHAPTER X.

OVER MELTING SNOWS.


We were now on the march from Cape Felix. Lieutenant Schwatka had kept
about a mile east of Frank and Henry, who walked along the coast, and I
about a mile and a half east of Lieutenant Schwatka. When about a mile
and a half above our old camp at Wall Bay, he found a cairn very
similar in construction to the one he found inland from Cape Felix. The
top had been taken down, but in the first course of stones, covered and
protected by those thrown from the top, he found a piece of paper with
a carefully drawn hand upon it, the index finger pointing at the time
in a southerly direction. The bottom part of the paper, on which rested
the stone that held it in place, had completely rotted off, so that if
there had ever been any writing upon it, that, too, had disappeared. He
called Frank to his assistance, and they spent several hours in
carefully examining the vicinity, without discovering anything else. It
would seem, however, that whatever memorandum or guide it was intended
for was only temporary, and was probably put there by some surveying or
hunting party from the ships.

We encamped on a point below Cape Maria Louisa, after our next march,
and after erecting the tent Owanork found a cache on the flats
containing a wooden canteen, barrel-shaped, marked on one side

    NO. 3,

and on the other,

    G. B.,

under the Queen's broad arrow. There were also the staves of another
canteen, a small keg, a tin powder can, several red cans marked

    GOLDNER'S PATENT,

a narrow-bladed axe, several broken porter and wine bottles stamped

    BRISTOL GLASS-WORKS.

and a few barrel staves. The cache was one evidently made by Netchillik
Inuits, who had found the things along the coast. In fact, one of those
we had interviewed mentioned having cached just such articles somewhere
along the coast, and had afterward forgotten the place. This is worthy
of consideration, as indicating that our search was sufficiently
comprehensive to have discovered anything that had been cached away by
the crews of the ships between Cape Felix and Collinson Inlet within
five or six miles of the coast.

The following day Lieutenant Schwatka and I took Toolooah with us
inland, and sent Frank and Henry down the coast toward Victory Point.
From the top of a high hill, about six miles south-east from camp, we
had an uninterrupted view for many miles in every direction, and swept
the entire field with a spy-glass--but saw nothing like a cache or
cairn. It was all a barren waste, with many ponds and lakes, some still
covered with ice, and others, being more shallow, were entirely clear,
as was the case with most of those near the coast. A few patches of
snow could be seen here and there on the hill-sides. We had to cross
one deep snowbank before reaching the crest of the hill, and upon our
descent came upon a depression in the snow, which Toolooah recognized
as a bear's igloo. A few patches of white wool near the entrance
confirmed his opinion. I crawled in as far as I could, to see in what
sort of a house the polar bear hibernated, and found it very much in
size and shape like those of the Inuits. The only difference, as far as
I could see, was that this was dug out of a snowbank, instead of being
built upon the surface and afterward buried by the drift.

The country over which we travelled this day was like all the rest we
had seen in King William Land--broken and jagged clay stone, with
intervening marshes. Little patches of brown and green moss, covered
with delicate purple flowerets, peep up occasionally from among the
piles of dry stones, though there is apparently no vestige of earth or
mould to sustain their delicate lives. These flowers appear as soon as
the snow melts from off the moss, and are most welcome to the eye of
the traveller in this desolate country. How glad we will be to see the
grass and trees of the temperate zone once more, after living so long
in this void! To-day, for the first, time I saw a few delicate little
daisies, and the sight of them carried me in imagination to the woods
and fields of New Jersey. I forgot the salt marshes and red "Jersey
mud;" but even the marshes there would look like flower-gardens after
the clay-stone deserts of King William Land.

[Illustration: CURIOUS FORMATION OF CLAY-STONE.]

We left Irving Bay on the 13th of July, after erecting a monument over
the grave of Lieutenant Irving, and marking a stone to indicate the
object of the cairn. We also buried a copy of the McClintock-Crozier
record, together with the record of our work to date, ten feet north of
the cairn, marking the fact on the tombstone. On our way back to
Franklin Point we buried the skull found on our way up, but found no
further bones until we reached Point Le Vesconte. We saw tenting
places, both of white men and natives, at different points along the
coast, and one cairn that had been torn down and contained nothing. We
found an empty grave on a hill where we encamped, about four miles
below this point, and a skull about a quarter of a mile distant from
it, evidently having been dragged there by wild beasts. The only things
found in the tomb were a large brass buckle and a percussion cap. Near
by were traces of native tenting places. In fact, wherever we found
graves we always found evidences that natives had encamped in the
vicinity, like vultures.

From this camp we marched, to our first camping place on Erebus Bay,
and from there had the most dismal day's work of the entire journey. In
order to pass Erebus Bay on the land, we had to go a long distance
inland to find a place where we could ford a wide and deep river that
empties into it. Throughout the entire length of the river, on both
sides, we had to wade through deep marshes, and at last crossed it
through a swift current, the water reaching to our waists. A dense fog
obscured the sun and hid the bay from view. It was impossible to
ascertain our direction, and we were compelled to follow all the
windings of the river and coast until the fog lifted. In the meantime
we had no idea where the sled was, and as Toolooah had been told that
we would make our usual ten miles' march, he might have gone that far
before looking for us, and we have still a tedious tramp before us
after reaching the bay. At last we heard the dogs, and finally saw the
sled, still at a great distance on the ice. The gale that had been
blowing all day long, and driving the damp, cold mist into our faces,
making it intensely cold and disagreeable, had subsided, and we
signalled Toolooah to join us.

[Illustration: CLAY-STONE MOUNDS.]

It was a joyful sight to see the sled once more alongside the shore,
for, few as were the comforts it contained, it was our only home, and
it meant the shelter and rest of our sleeping bags. We ate our dinner a
little after midnight, and soon forgot our troubles in sleep. While
Henry was cooking the last of our meat, he had occasion to leave the
fire a few moments, when the dogs, seeing an opportunity for a raid,
broke from their fastenings and poured down upon the culinary
department like an army of devouring fiends. We were all in bed at the
time except Henry; but Toolooah, well knowing the state of our larder,
slipped out under the end of the tent, stark naked, from his sleeping
bag, and poured such a shower of stones upon the dogs as to send them
away howling. Fortunately they got nothing but some blubber, of which
we have a good supply, and which is chiefly used to hasten the fire.

The next day the fog and gale recommenced with great fury; but as we
were entirely without food, Toolooah went hunting, and came in about
half-past nine in the evening with parts of three reindeer that he had
succeeded in killing; so we had a good warm meal about midnight, and
turned in out of the bitter cold. Though not in exactly the position to
be epicurean in our tastes, we could not fail to remark with great
satisfaction that the reindeer were getting fat, and the quality of the
meat improving thereby. A little later in the season they were
exceedingly fat, the tallow, or tud-noo, as the Inuits call it, lying
in great flakes, from half an inch to two and a half inches thick,
along the back and over the rump. This tallow has a most delicious
flavor, and is eaten with the meat, either cooked or raw. The
intestines are also incased in lace-work of tallow, which constitutes a
palatable dish. Indeed there is no part of any animal used for food but
what is eaten by the Esquimaux, and which we have partaken of with
great relish. The ribs of fat reindeer are also an especial delicacy. A
dish made of the contents of the paunch, mixed with seal oil, looks
like ice-cream, and is the Esquimau substitute for that confection. It
has none of the flavor, however, of ice-cream, but, as Lieutenant
Schwatka says, may be more likened to "locust sawdust and wild honey."
The first time I partook of this dainty I had unfortunately seen it in
course of preparation, which somewhat marred the relish with which I
might otherwise have eaten it. The confectioner was a toothless old
hag, who mixed the ingredients in a wooden dish dirtier than anything I
ever saw before, and filled with reindeer hairs, which, however, were
not conspicuous when well mingled with the half-churned grass and moss.
She extracted the oil from the blubber by crunching it between her old
gums, and spat it into the dish, stirring it with her fingers until the
entire mass became white, and of about the consistency of cottage
cheese. I ate some, merely to say I had eaten it, and not to offend my
entertainers, but I cannot say I enjoyed it.

We left camp at a quarter past one o'clock the following day, our
starting having to conform somewhat to the state of the tide, as at
high tide we cannot reach the ice. The sledging was simply awful, and
poor Toolooah was having a hard time of it and without a murmur or
discontented look. I expected he would urge us to abridge our search,
as there seemed to be imminent danger of the ice breaking up. But he
constantly told us to go on and search as much as we thought necessary,
and leave the sledging to him; he would do the best he could. It was a
pleasure to see him do it so cheerfully. There is something reassuring
even in the tone in which he addresses the dogs. Many a time we have
started to go through a place that seemed absolutely impassable until I
heard that cheery cry, "Why-ah-woo-ha-hu-ah!" and saw him bend his own
shoulder to the task. It seemed all right then. Even the dogs were more
hopeful, and pulled with renewed energy.

We found the coast on the south side of Erebus Bay cut into long,
narrow points, separated by deep inlets, that made the work of
searching much greater. All along the shore at the bottom of the
inlets, we found pieces of navy blue cloth, which seemed to have been
washed up by high tides. Quantities of driftwood also were seen; but we
already had as much on the sled as, in the present condition of the
ice, we could carry. At the bottom of one of the deepest inlets or
bays, the men found the wreck of a ship's boat strewn along the beach,
together with pieces of cloth, iron, canvas, and human bones. We
gathered together portions of four skeletons, a number of buttons, some
fish lines, copper and iron bolts and rivets, the drag rope of a sled,
some sheet-lead, some shot, bullets, and wire cartridges, pieces of
clothing, broken medicine bottles, the charger of a powder-flask, an
iron lantern, and a quantity of miscellaneous articles that would
naturally form part of the outfit of such an expedition. The bones were
prepared for burial, and the relics gathered together in a pile, from
which to select a few to take away with us. The prow and stern-post of
the boat were in good condition, and a few clinkered boards still hung
together, which measured twenty-eight feet and six inches to where they
were broken off at each end, showing it to have been a very large boat.

We spent several hours here, gathering together the various articles,
in a thick fog and strong north-west wind that came down across the
heavy ice-fields of Victoria Strait and Melville Sound, and was
intensely cold. We then went to the next point south of us at eleven
o'clock, and for four long weary hours walked up and down waiting for
the sled to come up, while new ice was rapidly forming in the margin of
the salt water as the tide went down. When Toolooah at last arrived, we
found he had been compelled to abandon the stoves and firewood as it
was impossible to handle so heavy a sled during the present wretched
condition of the ice. It was after four o'clock when we got to bed, our
blankets and sleeping bags all wet, as it was impossible to keep them
out of the water that everywhere covers the ice.

The next day we remained in camp to bury the remains found at the boat
place, and during the evening I went hunting with Toolooah, who killed
two fine bucks. We got back to camp, tired and sleepy, at half-past two
in the morning The sky was clear and the sunset supreme. It was nothing
unusual for one from the temperate zone to see a magnificent sunset,
but to see a grand combination of sunset and sunrise in one continuous
representation was glorious beyond description. The next day Toolooah
returned to the island off the mouth of the little bay, and brought on
the things he had abandoned there; while we searched the vicinity with
the hope of finding the second boat place, which the natives mentioned
as being about a quarter of a mile from the one seen by McClintock. If
this is the boat seen by him, it is certainly a long way from the
position represented on the maps. We found no trace of a second boat
place anywhere in the neighborhood, though we made an extensive search
for it. We found a deep inlet entering near Point Little, too wide and
deep to cross.

At a quarter past five the next morning, Lieutenant Schwatka and I
started on our search along the coast, leaving the men to assist
Toolooah in loading the sled and making a selection of what to abandon,
if anything had to be left, and to follow later. We had not got more
than a mile on our way when we heard a gun fired from camp, and,
turning around, saw Frank running after us. We waited for him, and were
surprised to hear that the tide, instead of falling, was actually
rising, and that it would be impossible to load the sled. We therefore
had to return to camp. In the meantime it commenced raining, and when
we reached the tent we found the water nearly up to the door, though it
was the hour for low tide. About two hours afterward Lieutenant
Schwatka went outside the hut, and almost immediately called for his
glasses, saying he thought the ice was breaking up. We all went out and
saw the ice coming in from the Straits, and piling up in great masses.
Already the sled was crowded high up in the air, and one of the stoves
occupied a lofty position poised on the pinnacle of a hummock Toolooah
at once got upon a loose cake of ice, and pulled himself out to the
edge of the floe and brought the sled and stove down to where, when the
ice came in closer, they could be pulled ashore, and were thus rescued
from then imminent peril.

[Illustration: THE BREAKING UP OF THE ICE.]

It was now quite evident that our sledging was over for the season, and
we were stuck here with all our heavy stuff. All day long we could hear
the booming of the ice in the distance, as the great fields were torn
asunder, and we felt thankful that Toolooah had not already got started
when the break came, or he would have been in great danger. At any rate
we might have lost our sled, together with the dogs and all our
baggage, which would have been a sad affair for us. We determined to
cross the land to Terror Bay, and from there send down to Gladman
Point, or that vicinity, all that the dogs and men could carry, while
Lieutenant Schwatka and I waited for their return, and in the meantime
searched the coast back from Terror Bay to the inlet near Point Little.

Terror Bay was reached on the 3d of August, after a tedious journey
across the narrow neck of land that separates it from Erebus Bay. Our
camps were not far apart, as everything had to be carried upon our
backs or upon the dogs. It was necessary to make two, and often three,
trips between camps before everything was brought up, consequently only
two of the Franklin stoves were brought along. The largest and heaviest
of these Henry took in charge, and carried all the way overstrapped to
his back like a knapsack. Toolooah brought the empty sled over, with
all the dogs after removing the bone shoes from the runners.

[Illustration: THE MARCH SOUTHWARD.]

While at our first camp overland, Toolooah had returned to the coast
with the dogs to bring up some firewood, and, not expecting to see any
reindeer, had left his gun in camp. But near the coast he came upon a
she-bear with her half-grown cub. Nothing daunted, he drove the old
bear off into the sea with stones, and killed the cub with a handleless
snow-knife. Henry and Frank, with all the Inuits, left us on the 6th of
August to reach the rest of our party, whom they expected to find
somewhere east of Gladman point. Frank and Henry remained there and
Toolooah returned with the dogs, and moved what we could to the same
point.

Lieutenant Schwatka and I were then left alone to provide for ourselves
until Toolooah's return, which was on the 1st of September. We kept
half of the double tent, and one of the dogs to help us when we moved
camp, and to carry our meat. Reindeer were plentiful, and we killed
eight, which kept us well supplied with food. We could have killed many
more had it been necessary. This was altogether the pleasantest part of
our experience in the Arctic. During the time we were alone we searched
the neighboring coast as far west as Cape Crozier, but found only one
skeleton. The tent place spoken of by Ahlangyah and others--and which
we confidently expected to find without much trouble, marked by
quantities of human bones and clothing scattered far around, as at the
company places at Irving Bay and Cape Felix, and the boat place on
Erebus Bay--could not be found, though Lieutenant Schwatka passed over
the spot that the natives spoke of as the site. This was a great
disappointment to us, and seemed unaccountable until we subsequently
learned from them that it was so close to the water that all traces of
it had disappeared. When we again met the natives we saw one man who
had been there not a great while ago, and said there was nothing to be
seen where he previously saw many skeletons and other indications of
the white men's hospital tent.

In the division of labor at our lonely camps the searching devolved
chiefly upon Lieutenant Schwatka and the cooking and hunting upon me,
though he also killed several reindeer, and I occasionally assisted in
the searching. Our diet was exclusively reindeer meat, eaten either raw
or cooked, and, as the animals were very fat, there was nothing to
complain of in that respect. The quantity that we ate was simply
astonishing; in fact, we found it easier to adapt ourselves to that
phase of Inuit life than any other.

Our greatest discomfort arose from the lack of sufficient shoes and
stockings. It requires women always to keep you comfortable in that
respect. Natives never go anywhere without their women. Our shoes were
completely worn, beyond possibility of repair, and the hair was
entirely worn off our stockings. The consequence was that walking was
torture. I could generally manage to patch up my shoes so that I could
start out hunting when necessary, well knowing they would last only for
a short distance, but trusting to my ambition in the chase to keep me
going, and the necessity of the case to get me back to the tent.

Most of the time we were confined to the tent by storms and fog, and
only a few days were fit for the prosecution of our work.
Unfortunately, the only thermometer we brought from Cape Herschel was
lost, with other articles, from the sled in an ice crack near Wall Bay,
while on our trip to Cape Felix, so we could keep no record of the
temperature. I noticed, however, that there was scarcely a night when
there was not a thin sheet of ice formed near the margin of the ponds.
On the night of the 28th it froze to the depth of about three-quarters
of an inch, and the next night about an inch and a half. It was
sufficiently cold at any time, when the wind blew, to remind us that we
were in the frigid zone. Our experience at this place was of interest
in showing that white men can take care of themselves in this country,
independently of the natives; but at the same time the presence and
assistance of natives add much to the traveller's comfort.

Several days before Toolooah's return we were anxiously looking for
him, as he was to bring in shoes and stockings, and the time was
rapidly passing in which we could complete our search. We had already
finished what was required toward the west, and as far east as was
feasible from this camp. We had therefore made up our minds to move
slowly eastward on the 1st of September, if he did not get back on the
last day of August. A fierce gale, with snow, kept us in camp on that
day; but the returning party, consisting of Toolooah's family with
Equeesik, Mitcolelee and Frank, came in notwithstanding the storm, so
great was their anxiety concerning our safety and comfort. It is
needless to say that we were glad to see them, and when we heard
Toolooah shout from the other side of the hill on which our tent was
pitched, it seemed the pleasantest sound I ever heard. The Inuits had
never known white men to live alone in their country as we had, and
were afraid we were very hungry; but we relieved their anxiety in that
respect by giving them a hearty meal of cooked meat.

We learned from them that the Inuits were all on the main-land, in the
neighborhood of Thunder Cove, and that Joe had been, and still was,
very sick with rheumatism. Henry remained there with them, and
prosecuted the search of Starvation Cove, building a monument over the
remains found there, and depositing a record that Lieutenant Schwatka
had sent to him for that purpose. Before he got there, however, Joe and
a party of Netchilliks had been searching the spot, and in a pile of
stones found a small pewter medal, commemorative of the launch of the
steamer 'Great Britain', in 1843, and among the seaweed some
pieces of blanket and a skull. This was all that could be seen at this
memorable spot.




CHAPTER XI.

AMATEUR ESQUIMAUX.


The prosecution of our search had been largely dependent upon our
imitation of the life of the Esquimaux, and I should omit an important
chapter in "Arcticology" if I did not leave on record the story of our
exploits as amateur Esquimaux in subsisting upon the resources of the
country through which our little exploring party passed, going and
coming, in pursuit of its chief object. The seal was our beef and the
walrus our mutton in this long journey.

Seal-hunting varies with the time of the year and the nature of the
ice, for the seals are seldom killed except upon or through the ice. In
the warm, still days of spring they come up through their blow-holes in
the ice and enjoy a roll in the snow or a quiet nap in the sun. Then
they are killed with comparative case. The hunter gets as close as
possible upon the smooth ice without alarming his prey, the distance
varying from four hundred to one hundred yards. He then lies down, or,
more correctly speaking, reclines upon a small piece of bear-skin,
which, as he moves, is dragged along and kept under him as protection
against the cold and wet. His weight rests chiefly on his left hip, the
knee bent and the leg drawn up beneath him upon the bear-skin mat. As
long as the seal is looking toward him the hunter keeps perfectly
still, or raising his head soon drops it upon his shoulder, uttering a
noise similar to that produced by a seal blowing.

When the seal is satisfied, from a careful inspection, that no danger
threatens, its head drops down upon the ice and it indulges in a few
winks, but suddenly rises and gazes around if it hears the least noise
or sees the least motion anywhere. The hunter takes advantage of the
nap to hitch himself along by means of his right foot and left hand,
preserving his recumbent position all the time, and if detected by the
seal either stops suddenly and blows, or flops around like a seal
enjoying a sun bath, as his experience suggests. In this way he can
usually approach near enough to shoot his prey with a rifle, or strike
it with a seal spear or oo-nar. Often, however, just as he is about to
shoot or spear his game, it slips suddenly into the sea through its
hole, upon the very verge of which it rests, seldom venturing further
than a foot or two from its safe retreat. If they could only rest
contented with a fair shot, the Inuits would probably secure more game
than they now do, for the most of those I have seen them lose in this
way went down after the hunter had approached within easy range--say
twelve or fifteen yards. They are so anxious, however, to make a sure
thing of it that they often try to get too near. I have frequently
timed an Inuit as he started for a seal on the ice, and found it takes
about an hour from the time he starts in pursuit until the shot is
fired. It is amusing to watch the countenance of the seal through a
spy-glass. They have such an intelligent and human look that you can
almost imagine what they are thinking. For instance, you will see one
start up suddenly and look at the hunter, who by that time is perfectly
still, with an intense scrutiny that seems to say, "I declare I was
almost sure I saw that move that time, but I must have been mistaken."
Then, with a drowsy look, almost a yawn, down goes his head, and the
hunter begins to hitch himself along again very cautiously. Suddenly up
goes the seal's head so quickly that the hunter hasn't time to subside
as before, but begins to roll about, blow off steam, and lift its feet
around like a seal flapping its tail, and at a little distance it is
really difficult to tell which is the seal and which the man. Then you
imagine a smile on the face of the seal, as though he was saying to
himself, "I caught him that time. What a fool I was to be frightened,
though. I thought it was a man, and it's only an ookjook."

When the hunter at last reaches the point at which he considers it safe
to risk a shot, you hear the report of his gun and see him immediately
spring to his feet and rush for his prey. If his bullet strikes the
head or neck of the animal it rarely gets away, though sometimes even
then it slips out of reach, so close do they keep to their holes. If it
is hit anywhere else it almost invariably escapes the hunter, though it
may not escape death. Often the hunter reaches the hole in time to
seize his prey by the hind flipper just as it is passing down into the
water. I remember standing and gazing mournfully down into a hole one
day through which a seal that I had shot had just escaped, though his
blood tinged the water and edges of the ice, and while I was lamenting
my ill-luck I heard a splash behind me and turned in time to see the
seal come up through another hole. He looked awfully sick, and didn't
see me until I had him by the flipper, sprawling on his back, at a safe
distance from the hole. This was quite good luck for me, for such an
opportunity rarely occurs, though I have occasionally known Toolooah to
recover a lost one in the same way.

When struck with a spear they seldom escape, for the line is fastened
to the side of the spear-head, which detaches itself from the staff and
holds in the flesh like a harpoon. Sometimes, however, the seal will
slip away after the spear is thrown, and, instead of striking him, it
strikes the ice where he had been lying. This is very aggravating after
the cold and tedious labor of working up upon it has been accomplished;
but the Esquimau bears his misfortune with equanimity. It is seldom
that he says more than "ma-muk'-poo now" (no good), or "mar-me an'-ner"
(which means "angry," or is an expression used when one is angry). He
gathers up his weapons, sits down and lights his pipe, and after a
recuperative smoke moves on in search of another opportunity to go
through the same process.

Sometimes he is fortunate enough to find a seal absolutely asleep upon
the ice, and then he can walk right up alongside of him and put the
rifle barrel to his ear before firing. In some parts of the Arctic, as
at Iwillik (Repulse Bay), there is a species called "wandering seal,"
which in the spring are known to come upon the ice in great numbers,
usually through a huge crack, and move quite a distance from the open
water. This affords the natives a grand opportunity, and the entire
village--men, women and children--repair to the spot, and by getting
between the seals and the water, cut off their escape, so that they
fall an easy prey to the clubs with which they are slaughtered by the
men. In this way they sometimes kill as many as seventy-five or a
hundred in a single day. But the haunts of the "wandering seal" are not
found everywhere; they are favored localities. It is generally pretty
hard work to kill a seal.

During the winter months the seals do not come out upon the ice, and
are then hunted usually with dogs that are trained for the purpose. The
hunter, equipped with his spear-shaft in his hand, and his line, with
the barbed spear-head attached, thrown over his shoulder, starts out,
leading his dog, whose harness is on and the trace wound several times
around his neck, so that but a yard or two is left to trail along the
snow. When they reach the wide stretch of smooth ice that usually lines
the shore in these regions, the dog is allowed to work to windward, and
when his sensitive nostrils are saluted with the scent of a seal he
indicates the fact by the excited manner in which he endeavors to reach
the spot from which the odor emanates. The hunter restrains the dog's
ardor, but follows his guidance until the spot is found at which the
seal's blow-hole is situated. Often it is entirely covered with snow,
but sometimes a small hole about an inch in diameter is seen. The
blow-hole is a spot to which the seal resorts to get an occasional puff
of fresh air, and here the hunter awaits him in order to secure him for
the larder. When first found, the hunter merely marks the spot for a
future visit by building around it a wall of snow blocks to cut off the
wind, and making a seat of similar material upon which to rest while
waiting for the blow. This is the tedious proceeding in the life of an
Esquimau, or at least would be for a civilized person so situated.
Sometimes the seal comes up within half an hour or an hour, but often
the hunter stands or sits by the hole all night long, and sometimes for
a day or two. I have heard of instances in which they sat for two days
and a half waiting for the seal to put in an appearance. In fact, Papa
told me that he once sat for three days at one seal hole, and then it
did not come up. During all this time the hunter must keep perfectly
still--that is, he must not walk around or move his feet off the ice.
He can move his body to keep up a circulation of the blood, or move his
feet inside his stockings if they are sufficiently loose to allow of
such motion, but no noise must occur which would alarm the game if in
the vicinity of the hunter.

Some funny incidents occur at these prolonged sittings. I remember one
experienced old seal-hunter who told me that when he was a young man he
was once out all night watching a blow-hole and got very sleepy--so
sleepy, indeed, that he could not keep his eyes open. After vainly
endeavoring to arouse himself, he finally succumbed, and, falling
asleep, tumbled over backward and wandered in the land of dreams.
Suddenly awakening he saw what he supposed to be a man with hostile
intentions standing and looking down upon him through the dim
starlight. Every time he moved in the least, in order to get up, the
strange man moved in a threatening sort of way, and he had to lie still
again. At last, after getting thoroughly awakened, he discovered what
he had taken for an enemy, and had caused him such alarm, was only his
own leg sticking up in the air and resting against the snow-block seat
from which he had tumbled when he fell asleep. Another hunter was
overcome by sleep at a seal hole, and awakened by the consciousness of
danger, saw a great white bear watching the hole, which in his
sleepiness he had neglected. The hunter had fallen behind his snow seat
in such a way as to be concealed from the bear, which had been
attracted by the scent of the seal and arrived just at the moment when
the young man awoke. To jump to his feet and fly from the vicinity of
danger was, with the frightened Esquimau, the work of a minute, and so
startled the bear that it also made off in the opposite direction as
fast as feet would carry it.

When the seal comes up to breathe it stays about ten minutes, which
gives the hunter plenty of time to get his spear and line ready. He
then must take accurate aim and make a vigorous thrust through the
little hole, withdrawing the spear quickly and holding the line
tightly, so as to exhaust the game as much as possible before the line
is all run out. The end is wound tightly around his right arm, and he
sits down, bracing himself to resist the struggles of the animal to
free itself. It usually makes three desperate efforts to escape, and
then the hunter begins to haul in on his line, and, breaking away the
snow around the hole, to admit of the passage of the body, lands his
prey on the ice.

The next operation at this stage of the proceedings is to make a slit
in the stomach of the sometimes still breathing animal, and to cut off
some of the warm liver (ting'-yer), with a slice or two of blubber
(oks-zook), wherewith the hunter regales himself with a hearty
luncheon. Then the entrails are drawn out and passed through the
fingers of the left hand to remove the contents, and are afterward
braided and returned to the cavity of the stomach, and the slit drawn
together and pinned with a little ivory pin (too-bit-tow'-yer) made for
the purpose. The dog is allowed to lick the blood from the snow, but
gets no more for his share unless an opportunity occurs to help himself
when his master's back is turned. The trace is then attached to the
nose of the dead seal, which is thus dragged into camp by the faithful
dog, the hunter walking alongside urging the dog by his voice, and
occasionally assisting him over a drift or amid hummocky ice.

The seal in the early spring builds a habitation in the snow over and
around the hole through which it breathes, and here its young are born
and live until old enough to venture into the water. This house is
called an oglow, and is constructed very much like an Esquimau igloo in
shape, though it is more irregular and has ramifications that extend to
neighboring holes. These oglows are found with the assistance of dogs,
as previously described, or by prodding with a seal spear the hillocks
of snow that look like seals' houses. When a hunter finds an oglow
during the season that the young seals are living in them, he
immediately breaks in the roof with his heel in search of the little
one, which usually remains very quiet even when the hunter looks down
and pokes his head through the broken roof. The young seal is then
easily killed with the spear and dragged out on the ice, and the hunter
waits for the mother, which is never absent a long time from its baby.
The young seal is generally cut open as soon as killed, and its little
stomach examined for milk, which is esteemed a great luxury by the
Esquimaux. When young, the seal is covered with long, white hair, very
much like coarse wool. This skin was at one time very much used in
making clothing, but lately has not been much in vogue among the
natives, though occasionally coats and trousers of this material may
still be seen. The whalers esteem it highly as an adjunct to woollen
clothing, as being sufficiently warm for those who are living on
shipboard, yet not so warm as reindeer clothing, which becomes
oppressive in high temperature.

The older seals have short, smooth hair, of a yellowish-gray color,
with large black spots on the back, which become smaller and less
frequent on the sides, and disappear entirely before reaching the
belly. The finest quality of seal-skin in the eastern North American
waters, which are devoid of fur seal, is that of the kos-se-gear, or
fresh-water seal, which is found at or near the mouths of nearly all
rivers emptying into the sea. This species of seal is marked very
much like the common seal (net-chuk), except that the spots are of a
more positive and a glossier black, while the body color is whiter,
making a more decided contrast. The hair is also of a much finer
texture, and is as soft as the finest quality of velvet. These are
only killed in the early summer, and their skins are extensively used
for summer clothing by those Esquimaux who have not come much in contact
with the whalers. When they have been in communication with the ships,
they are usually, during the summer months, clad in cast-off clothing
of the sailors--that is, the men are. And funny enough they look, with
the curious methods they have of wearing civilized costumes. They always
choose a shirt for the exterior garment, and wear it with the tail
outside. The women seldom are seen with any civilized clothing, the
only exception being, probably, a few of the natives of Cumberland Sound
and Akkolead, near North Bay. The finest quality of kossegear skins I
have seen were killed in Hudson's Strait. They are much superior in
texture and color to those of the tributaries to Hudson's Bay. The next
skin in quality is that of the ki-od-del-lik, or "jumping" seal, or, as
it is sometimes called, "spotted" seal. This is very similar in color
and texture to the fresh-water seal, except that the black in the back
and sides is in great splotches that are odd, but very pretty in effect.
Kioddelliks are seen in great numbers in Hudson's Bay and Strait, but
are not often killed, as they generally keep pretty well out from shore.
They are often seen by the whalers, playing like a school of porpoises,
whose actions they simulate somewhat, except that they make a clean
breach from the water every time they jump.

The nets-che-wuk, "bladder-nosed" seal, has a skin which is a grade or
two superior to the netchuk, and is much larger. It, however, lacks the
fineness and gloss of the kossegear and kioddellik.

The largest of the seal species is the ookjook. Its skin is thick and
coarse, with coarse, short hair. It is not used in the manufacture of
clothing, except for the soles of rum-nigs (boots). It is, however,
employed to make walrus and seal lines, lashings for their sleds, and
traces for dog harness. It is as much used for this purpose as is the
skin of the walrus, which it much resembles. In making lines from
ookjook or walrus skin, a piece is cut from the neck or body by making
cross sections--that is, without slitting it down the belly, the piece
for the line being removed from the body in a broad band. The blubber
is then cut from the fleshy side, and the skin is soaked for a short
time in hot water, after which the hair is readily removed with an
ood-loo, the semicircular knife that is the one constant and only tool
of the Esquimau woman. A line is then made by cutting this piece of skin
into one continuous strip, half an inch wide, by following around and
around the band. The line is then about twenty-five yards long, and
while still green is stretched between two large rocks, where it is
submitted to the greatest tension that the limited mechanical
appliances of these savages can supply. While so situated the line is
carefully trimmed with a sharp knife to remove all fatty particles, and
to partially round off the sharp edges.

It is then allowed to remain until thoroughly dry, when it is taken
from the stretcher and coiled up in the owner's tent until he has
leisure to finish it and render it pliable. This is accomplished by
the slow and tedious process of chewing. Traces and lines for the seal
spears are usually made of seal skin, and in the same way as walrus
and ookjook lines. They also require chewing before being sufficiently
pliable for use. Indeed, all skins require to be chewed before they
are made into clothing. The men chew their lines, but all other skins
are chewed by the women and young girls. It is one circumstance that
is early remarked by the visitor in the Arctic regions, that the
middle-aged and old people have teeth that are worn down to mere stubs
by the constant chewing of skins. A pair of ookjook soles, before being
submitted to the chewing process, are nearly as thick and much stiffer
than the sole-leather of civilized commerce, and it requires the
leisure hours of two days to reduce them to the necessary pliability
for use. It is not only the action of the grinders that brings them to
the proper state, but the warm breath and saliva play an effectual part
in the process. This is usually their visiting work. When they go to
each other's tupics or igloos to make calls, instead of taking their
knitting, the belles of the polar circle take their chewing. It does
not add much to the charms of female society to see them sitting before
you gnawing and sucking a pair of ookjook soles, or twisting an entire
seal-skin into a roll, one end of which is thrust into a capacious
mouth to undergo the masticating and lubricating process. But it does
increase your respect for them to see with what cheerfulness these
women apply themselves to their exceedingly disagreeable labor.

Seal-skins for making coats and trousers are dressed with the hair on,
the fleshy membranes, or "mum'-me," being cut off with an oodloo before
they are washed, stretched, and dried. One good warm spring day is
sufficient to dry a seal-skin, which for this purpose is stretched over
the ground or snow by means of long wooden pins, which keep it elevated
two or three inches, thus allowing the air to circulate underneath it.
Sometimes in the early spring, before the sun attains sufficient power,
a few skins for immediate use are dried over the lamps in the igloos.
This, however, is regarded as a slow and troublesome process, and the
open air is preferred when available. A few seal-skins and walrus
skins, from which the hair has been neatly removed, are left to hang in
the wind and sun for several days, until they acquire a creamy
whiteness, and are then used for trimming. The Kinnepatoos, who are the
dandies of the Esquimau nation, tan nearly all their skins white. Their
walrus and seal lines, and indeed their sled lashings and dog harness,
are sometimes white, as well as the trimmings of their boots and
gloves. Nearly all the varieties of seal are sometimes killed during
the summer and fall, while swimming in the open water; but though often
seen when the weather is calm, the Esquimaux seldom fire at them,
because until the latter part of September they will sink to the
bottom, though killed instantly by a shot through the head or neck.

At a later period a funny incident occurred. We were at Marble Island.
The weather was calm, so that seal heads were sprinkled plentifully
upon the surface of the water. This inspired Lieutenant Schwatka to
try his skill. So, fetching his rifle from the cabin and wiping his
eye-glasses, he shot at a large head about a hundred yards from the
vessel. The seal made a desperate effort to get down in a hurry, but
was evidently badly hurt, and showed a good deal of blood before it
accomplished its descent. Presently it came up again, and a boat was
lowered to pick it up, but it managed to escape capture, though it was
evident that it would soon die. After breakfast the next morning, when
we went on deck, the water was still quite smooth, and presently we
were surprised to see what appeared to be a dead seal floating in on
the tide. There was no doubt that this was the seal that Lieutenant
Schwatka had killed the previous night, and again the boat was lowered
to secure it. No precautions were deemed necessary to avoid making a
noise, and when the boat came alongside one of the men threw down his
oar, rolled up his sleeves, and stooped down to lift the carcass on
board. His surprise may be imagined when, after passing his arms around
it and proceeding to lift it, he felt it suddenly begin to struggle and
slip from his hold and dive below the surface, while a loud shout went
up from the spectators. It was not Lieutenant Schwatka's seal, but an
entirely well one that was sound asleep when it felt the rude embrace
of the sailor.

The seal is an exceedingly useful animal to the Esquimau, for it not
only supplies him with food and clothing, but its blubber furnishes the
fuel for cooking its flesh, lighting the igloo, and drying its skin
before making into clothing. The skin also is made into dog harness and
traces, whip lashes, boots and shoes, gun-covers, water-pails, bags for
the storing of oil and blubber, and his boats are covered with it.
Seal-skin bags, inflated and fastened to walrus lines, are used in
hunting walrus and whales, and finally, the summer dwelling of the
Esquimau is a tent made of seal-skin. A single tent, or tupic, as it
is called by them, is composed of from five to ten skins, which are
split--that is, the mumme is split off and dried separately from the
skin. The rear portion of the tent is made of the skins with the hairy
side out, while the front is made of the transparent mumme, which
admits the light almost as freely as if made of ground glass. The skin
portion is impervious to water, but the mumme admits the rain about as
readily as it does the sunlight. This is no objection, in the mind of
the Esquimau, for it is something he is thoroughly accustomed to. In the
summer his tent is wet with rain, and in the winter, whenever the air
in the igloo is raised to an endurable temperature, the roof melts and
is constantly dripping ice-water down his back or upon his blankets.




CHAPTER XII.

WALRUS DIET.


The staple food of the Esquimaux of North Hudson's Bay and Melville
Peninsula is "ivick" (walrus). The season for killing the walrus
lasts nearly all the year--that is, all the time when the natives are
not inland hunting reindeer, in order to secure sufficient skins to
make their winter clothing and sleeping blankets. The Kinnepatoos, who
inhabit the shore of Hudson's Bay in the vicinity of Chesterfield Inlet
and its tributaries, are the only tribe I know of who live almost
exclusively upon the reindeer. Indeed, they only kill a sufficient
number of walrus and seal to provide them with shoes and gloves for
summer wear. The Netchillik and Ookjoolik tribes live mostly by
sealing, and as they are not provided with fire-arms, find it almost
impossible to kill reindeer when the snow is on the ground. The
Ooquesiksillik people, who live on Back's Great Fish River and its
tributary, Hayes River, live almost exclusively on fish. The Iwillik
tribe, that inhabits the coast of Hudson's Bay from near the mouth of
Chesterfield Inlet to Repulse Bay, the Igloolik, Amitigoke, Sekoselar,
Akkolear, and, indeed, all the various tribes along the northern shore
of Hudson's Strait, Fox Channel, and Southampton Island, rely chiefly
upon walrus meat for their food. The walrus is one of the largest
animals that inhabits these waters, and when one is killed it supplies
a quantity of food. An average-sized walrus weighs about a thousand or
twelve hundred pounds, and when it is remembered that every particle is
eaten except the hardest bones, the reader will see that it is a
valuable prize for the captors. The blood, blubber, intestines, even
the hide, the undigested contents of the stomach, and the softer bones,
as well as the oesophagus and windpipe, are all eaten, raw or cooked.
If my experience might be mentioned, I would say that all of these
enumerated delicacies I have eaten and relished. Walruses are usually
found resting upon the ice near the edge of the floe or the shore
piece, unless there is much loose ice near it, in which case they will
most always be found on the larger cakes of loose ice.

There they are hunted in boats, or when the wind is from such a
direction as to keep the pack on to the floe they can be successfully
hunted on foot. The method of hunting is precisely the same as that
already described in reference to hunting seal, except that the spear
is generally used in preference to the rifle to secure the walrus, and
the rifle is preferred to the spear in seal-hunting. Usually there are
two hunters who approach the walrus, one hiding behind the other, so
that the two appear but as one. When the spear is thrown, both hold
on to the line, which is wound around their arms so as to cause as
much friction as possible, in order to exhaust the animal speedily.
The spear-head is of walrus tusk, and is about three inches long and
three-quarters of an inch thick, with an iron barb that is kept very
sharp. The line is attached to the middle of the spear-head, the near
end being slanted, so that when the line is tightened it lies cross-wise
in the wound, like a harpoon, and it is almost impossible for it to draw
out after once passing through the tough hide of the animal. When the
line is nearly run out, the end of the spear-shaft is passed through a
loop in the end of the line and held firmly by digging a little hole in
the ice for the end of the spear to rest in, the foot resting upon the
line and against the spear to steady it. This gives the hunter an
immense advantage over his powerful game, and if he is fortunate enough
to secure this hold, there is no escape for the walrus except that the
line may cut on the edge of the sharp ice, or the thin ice break off,
and hunter, line, and all be precipitated into the water--a not unusual
experience in walrus hunting. Another cause of misfortune is for the
line to become entangled around the arm of the hunter, so that he
cannot cast it off, in which case he is most assuredly drawn into the
sea, and in nine cases out of ten drowned, for his knife is seldom at
hand for an emergency, and no amount of experience will ever induce an
Inuit to provide against danger.

Sometimes the hunter is alone when he strikes a walrus, and in that
case it requires considerable dexterity to secure the spear hold in the
ice; or if he fails to get that he may sit down and brace his feet
against a small hummock, when it comes to a sheer contest of muscle
between the hunter and the walrus. In these contests victory generally
perches upon the banner of the walrus, though the Inuit will never give
up until the last extremity is reached. Often he is dragged to the very
edge of the ice before he finds a protuberance against which to brace
his feet, and often he is drawn down under the ice before he will
relinquish his hold. He is very tenacious under such circumstances, for
he knows that when he loses the walrus he loses his line and harpoon
also.

Occasionally a dead walrus is found with a harpoon and line fastened to
him, in which case the walrus and line belong to the finder. I remember
a curious incident of this kind that occurred at Depot Island. Toolooah
and Ebierbing (Esquimau Joe) were hunting together and Toolooah struck
a fine young bull walrus, and got the spear hold against the ice for
Joe to hold. It is a powerful hold, and a child could hold a whale in
that way if the line did not break. But poor unfortunate Joe, for some
unaccountable reason, raised the spear, and, of course, the line was
drawn from under his foot, and both walrus and line were lost,
notwithstanding Toolooah and Sebeucktolee (familiarly "Blacksmith")
caught the running line and held until their hands were cut to the
bone. They did not know at this time that another walrus had been
killed a mile or two further along the edge of the floe. The loss of
the line was also a sad misfortune. Joe felt so badly about it that he
was ashamed to come in, and walked several miles farther along the ice
with an Inuit companion, in the hope of killing a seal with his rifle;
but Toolooah, who had taken no rifle, inasmuch as he had taken a spear
and line instead, returned to camp and came into the igloo which he and
I occupied in common, looking very much dejected in consequence of the
loss of his walrus and line, the circumstances of which he explained to
me, showing his terribly lacerated hands. The fact that another walrus
had been killed was a relief to him, but did not dissipate his grief
for the lost line, which was the last we had.

About half-past ten o'clock that night, while we were eating some
boiled walrus meat and entrails (about the fifth meal since four
o'clock on the afternoon, when the meat arrived), some one came to the
entrance of the igloo and handed in Toolooah's walrus line, saying Joe
and Blucher had found the walrus dead upon the ice near where it was
struck, the animal having crawled out and died after the hunters had
left. Now for the first time Toolooah's face brightened up, and he was
so impatient to hear the circumstances of the recovery of the lost game
that, late as it was, he went to Joe's igloo to inquire. He soon
returned with an exceedingly woebegone expression, for which I failed
to elicit an explanation until the morning, when I found out from Joe
that, according to the laws and customs of the Inuits the walrus
belonged to him because he found it.

"What interest has Toolooah in it?" said I.

"None," was Joe's reply. "All over here country same way. Man he
strikee walrus; let he go again; somebody else findee; he walrus."

"Well, Joe, suppose the somebody else lets the walrus go, how is it
then?"

"All same way."

"So Toolooah has no interest in that walrus he killed and that you let
go again?"

"Yes, all same way here country. But I give'm back he line last night.
Line my, all same; I findee."

"That was certainly noble in you, Joe, I am sure."

"Oh, yes; Toolooah my friend."

And so, I noticed, always was the case whenever there was any doubt
about a point; "custom here country" always managed to give Joe the
best of it, and I came to the conclusion that he had become pretty
thoroughly civilized during his residence in the United States.

Sometimes an inflated seal-skin, called an ah-wah-tah, is attached to
the end of the line, that buoys it up and soon exhausts the wounded
walrus. This is a very good plan, but is not considered advantageous
when working in loose ice unless hunting from a boat, for the wounded
animal is apt to get beyond the reach of the hunter. After the ice
disappears walruses are then killed on the small islands, to which they
resort to sleep, and are sometimes found in great numbers.

In the fall of 1878 I went with a party of Inuit hunters to a small
rocky island opposite Daly Bay, where we found a herd of from
seventy-five to a hundred, most of them asleep; but some were
complaining and grunting, and punching their bed-fellows with their
long tusks. Our approach was made cautiously up the slippery side of
a wet rock until within range, when at the suggestion of my Inuit
companions I fired at a fine young bull, being instructed to hit him
just behind the ear. I did so, and sent a 320-grain slug from my
Sharp's rifle through his skull. His head dropped to the ground and he
never moved a muscle. At the same time another shot was fired by one of
the Inuits; but the hunter's foot slipped at the same moment, and the
bullet whistled harmlessly over the heads of the herd. A grand rush was
then made by all the hunters, and the walruses were wriggling and
sliding down the slimy rocks into the sea. One of the Inuits darted his
harpoon into what he took to be a sleeping walrus, but it proved to be
the one I had already killed. I followed into the midst of the herd and
put a bullet through the head of another bull before they had all left
the rock. Had Oxeomadiddlee not struck a dead walrus we might have had
three, for an ahwahtah was attached to his line, so that we could have
regained it at any time with the boat. The walrus never appeared to me
the dangerous animal I have known him to be represented. If wounded and
brought to bay he will certainly turn upon his assailants, and many
Inuits have been killed in these encounters, while others still bear
scars received from the tusks of those which they were hunting. But as
long as there appears to be a chance to escape by flight the walrus
usually will seek safety in that way.

One of my companions in this hunt--Toogoolar, or Oxeomadiddlee, as he
is usually called--is a famous walrus hunter, and his success is
probably largely due to his immense physical strength. He is a perfect
Esquimau Samson, and when he is on one end of a line, with his feet
braced against a hummock, the walrus at the other end has no advantage.
Indeed, the odds are in favor of Oxeomadiddlee. His singular name is
self-imposed, and is an Inuit expression of greeting, or rather when
one unexpectedly arrives, as the clown says, "Here we are again," and
occurred in this way. Several years ago he was hunting walrus in the
pack-ice, when the wind changed and blew the ice away from shore. This
is a contingency to which the hunters are constantly liable, and is the
greatest danger to which they are subjected in their pursuit. Many are
thus carried away, sometimes out to sea, and are never heard from
again; while others have been drifted a long distance from their homes
before the drift again touched the shore-ice and allowed them to find
their way back, if possible. Sometimes they starve to death before the
ice again lands, though occasionally they are quite comfortable under
such circumstances, as, for instance, were four who were carried off
just before we started on our trip to King William Land a year ago last
spring. Equeesik and his brother Owanork, who were to accompany us, and
Nanook and Blucher were thus carried off from Depot Island, with one of
our sleds and a dead walrus which they were cutting up at the time.
They did not get back for four or five days, but suffered scarcely at
all while away. They built an igloo on the largest cake they could
reach, and of course had plenty to eat. They made a lamp of walrus
hide, and burned the blubber to heat their house. When the ice touched
the shore below Chesterfield Inlet they jumped on the sled and drove
home. There is always more or less risk attending these adventures
under all circumstances.

The time of which I was speaking that Toogoolar was carried away, he
was gone a long time, until, indeed, his tribe had given up all hope
of his returning. But one morning during a severe snow-storm he arrived
in camp, and no one had noticed his approach until, crawling through
the door of an igloo, he stood amid his friends and exclaimed,
"Ox'-e-o-ma-did'-dle-e" (Good-morning. Here we are again). He had been
carried from Repulse Bay to the vicinity of Whale Point, when an
easterly wind drove the pack on shore and he escaped, but had to make
his way on foot from there back home again. He had his walrus line and
spear with him, and had killed a walrus while in the pack; but the
piece that held his food was broken off and floated away from him, so
that he was for many days without anything to eat. Inuits are somewhat
accustomed to such experiences, and can be deprived of food for a long
time without starving. When a walrus is killed it takes some time to
cut it up and prepare it for removal to camp. There are usually several
helpers in the vicinity of any one who carries a line and spear. Others
walk along the edge of the pack until they find some one working up to
a walrus, or a party engaged in cutting it up.

According to Inuit custom, all who arrive while the walrus is being cut
up, no matter how many, are entitled to a share of it. The man who
strikes it, however, has the first pick, which, if there are four of
them, is one of the hind quarters; if there are only two or three, he
has both hind flippers if he prefer them, and is always entitled to the
head, which contains some of the choicest morsels either for cooking or
eating raw. I know of nothing more palatable in that climate during
winter and spring than raw frozen walrus head and tongue. It is not an
inviting-looking dish, but is most enjoyable. The meat is hard, but not
particularly tough--for walrus--and consists of alternate layers of
lean and fat. It is eaten with the addition of more blubber, and is
generally the occasion of a common feast for all the men in the camp.
If there is any left the women can eat it if they want to, but the
women never eat with the men, and if the tupic or igloo where the feast
is being held is small, even the women that dwell there are banished
until the feast is over. An ookjook, when killed, is divided up in the
same way as a walrus, all the bystanders receiving a share. In making
the division of the carcass the portions are kept in a bag made by
lacing the edges of the skin that holds the share with a line made of a
strip of the raw hide. In this bag are also deposited such portions of
the entrails, liver, etc., as fall to the share of each. In hunting on
foot the men usually take one or two dogs apiece to drag home their
dividends. When encamped upon a hill, such as Depot Island, which
commands a view of an extensive tract of ice, the natives seldom go
walrus hunting unless they first see one on the ice, in which case one
of the best hunters starts immediately with his weapons, and the
"bummers" follow later with a sled and dogs. The arrival of a sled-load
of walrus meat into a hungry camp is one of the most cheerful sights
that it ever falls to the lot of a traveller to witness, and I have
noticed that his interest is seldom diminished by the fact that his own
is one of the hungry stomachs to be fed from this plenty. The women see
the sled coming, while still at a great distance, and then the big
stone lamps are lit, and snow put into the kettles to melt, so that no
time need be wasted after the meat gets there. The cooking is seldom
done in each dwelling separately; but he who has the largest kettle or
the biggest heart, when his own meal is ready, goes to the door of his
igloo or tupic and calls out, "O-yook, O-yook," which means warm food,
and all the men and boys gather in, each with a knife in his hand, and
without further ceremony they fall to and devour what is set before
them. The largest part of an Inuit's food is, however, eaten raw. These
o-yooks are merely festal occasions, though they occur several times a
day, and may happen at any hour of the day or night when the natives
are assembled in villages and have plenty of food on hand. It is then
that they recompense themselves for starvings in the past or in
prospect.




CHAPTER XIII.

THE RETURN.


We reached our permanent camp on our return from King William Land on
September 19th. It was about six miles south-east of Gladman Point, and
at the foot of a high hill, which Toolooah remarked would make a good
look-out tower for deer-hunting. All along this part of the coast,
where Simpson Strait is narrowest, would soon swarm with reindeer
waiting for the salt water to freeze, so they could continue their
navigation southward. It is for this reason that we selected it as our
permanent camp while we also awaited the freezing of the strait, so
that we could cross with our heavy sleds. When Henry and Frank went
down the coast they found reindeer everywhere else but at Gladman Point
and that neighborhood, and were there for three days without food. In
the meantime Toolooah crossed the strait in a kyack and found the
natives. On his return he killed a reindeer on the main-land and
relieved their distress. Long before we reached the spot the meadows
and ponds were frozen, so that we could cross them with perfect
impunity. In many places the ice was so clear that it required
considerable moral courage to step upon it, it looked so exactly like
still water.

[Illustration: SCHWATKA'S PERMANENT CAMP.]

Henry came up to see us the next day, his camp being about seven miles
below. The Inuits crossed to the King William Land side on the 17th. It
was a picturesque sight to see the whole of Joe's and Ishnark's
families, with Henry and a number of dogs, upon a raft made by lashing
together four kyacks. They had to choose a still day for the crossing,
and keep very quiet while upon the raft. Lieutenant Schwatka paid a
visit to the other camp on the 22d, and the day following Toolooah and
I moved our camp about two miles farther east, to a large lake, where
we at once set to work, the ice being already eight inches thick, to
build an ice igloo of large slabs three feet by six, which standing on
end and so placed as to support each other, formed the walls, which
afterward were covered with the tent, and made a much warmer house than
the tent alone, as it is a complete shelter against the wind.

[Illustration: HENRY KLUTSCHAK'S CAMP.]

Reindeer were now seen daily in immense herds. The day we moved camp we
ran upon a herd of about fifty, and Toolooah killed seven before they
could get away, following them up, running and dropping on his knee to
fire. So rapid and effective was his delivery with his Winchester
repeating carbine, that this unequalled achievement was accomplished in
less than ten minutes; and, well knowing that it was to his splendid
weapon that the credit largely belonged, this undemonstrative savage
held up his rifle and kissed it while he was talking to me about the
affair. On the 30th Toolooah killed twelve reindeer, Joe eight, and
Equeesik and I each three, making a grand total of twenty-six by our
party alone in one day.

We ate quantities of reindeer tallow with our meat, probably about half
our daily food. Breakfast is eaten raw and frozen, but we generally
have a warm meal in the evening. Fuel is hard to obtain, and consists
entirely of a vine-like moss called ik-shoot-ik. Reindeer tallow is
also used for a light. A small flat stone serves for a candlestick, on
which a lump of tallow is placed, close to a piece of fibrous moss
called mun-ne, which is used for a wick. The tallow melting runs down
upon the stone and is immediately absorbed by the moss. This makes a
very cheerful and pleasant light, but is most exasperating to a hungry
man, as it smells exactly like frying meat. Eating such quantities of
tallow is a great benefit in this climate, and we can easily see the
effect of it in the comfort with which we meet the cold. The mean
temperature for the month of September was 22.1 degrees Fahr., and the
lowest 5 degrees, and yet though we wore only our woollen clothes,
except a fur koo-li-tar, or overcoat, when away from home, the cold is
not annoying. During October the mean temperature was -0 degree, and
the lowest -38 degrees.

On the afternoon of the 27th of September a heavy snow-storm set in,
and the next morning the snow was knee-deep on the level ice. The storm
continued until during the night of the 29th. The snow was very deep,
but the winter winds soon blew it around and packed it down so as to be
almost solid. By the 14th of October the sledging was sufficiently good
for Toolooah to go to Cape Herschel and Terror Bay for the sled and
other articles that were left there during the summer for the want of
transportation. As his little boy would suffer with the cold, Toolooah
exchanged wives with Joe for the trip, a very usual and convenient
custom among the Esquimaux.

The ice was sufficiently strong for the reindeer to commence crossing
to the main-land about the 1st of October, and in a few days their
numbers had very perceptibly diminished. After the 14th we saw none at
all; they seemed to have entirely disappeared. The Inuits had been very
busy making up fur clothing for the winter trip, and we had fixed upon
the 1st of November as the day for starting, by which time everything
would be ready. Toolooah got back on the 23d. He killed three bears the
day he reached Terror Bay. All of them got into the water, and he had
to go to the edge of the new ice, using a pole to stand upon while
fishing them out. He killed one reindeer at Cape Herschel, which was
all he saw while away.

Joe came up and built an igloo adjoining ours on the 3d of October. He
wanted to get away from the vicinity of Ogzeuckjeuwock, the Netchillik
Arn-ket-ko, or medicine-man, of whom he was apparently very much
afraid. He alleged that the medicine-man was constantly advising his
people to kill some of our party. Joe said that he had sak-ki-yon to
that effect--that is, during one of his inspirations exhorted them to
that end. There is no doubt but they would be very glad to kill us all,
and get our guns and knives, but they were thoroughly afraid to
undertake it. After Toolooah's return he and Joe gathered in the meat
we had cached in the vicinity, preparatory to starting on the 1st of
the next month.

Lieutenant Schwatka decided that he and I would take Toolooah's sled,
with Joe to assist, and go by the way of Smith and Grant Points, and
through the big inlet spoken of by the natives as putting in from
Wilmot Bay, and meet the other sleds which, in charge of Henry, would
go by the way of Richardson Point and Back's River, meeting at the bend
of the river above the Dangerous Rapids, where we would find the
Ooqueesiksillik natives and take on board a supply of fish to last us
until we reached the reindeer country once more. As the other sleds had
the shorter route, they would start a day or two later and wait for us
at the appointed rendezvous, unless they were getting short of food, in
which case they would push on into the reindeer country. Narleyow, the
Ooqueesiksillik guide, would accompany them. We started on the 1st, as
proposed, but did not succeed in getting farther than the shore of the
strait, about three miles from camp, owing to the heavy sleds and the
dogs being so fat that they were lazy. We took Ishnark's sled to help
us for the first day, as we had such a quantity of meat--one sled
loaded entirely with it and the other with about half a load. We had to
keep the extra sled the following day also, as we wanted to get well
over the salt-water ice.

We had fondly hoped to be at the Dangerous Rapids by the 10th or 15th
of November, but we only reached the native camp near the mouth of
Kigmuktoo (Sherman Inlet) on the 12th, owing to our heavily loaded sled
and the much bad weather, fogs, and wind that would blow the snow
around so that we could not see our course. There was quite a large
camp of Netchillik and Ookwolik Esquimaux on a big lake near the mouth
of Sherman Inlet, the largest camp we had yet seen. The sled was
pulling heavily and slowly across the lake, and I went ahead toward the
igloos. All the men were standing outside awaiting our arrival, and
among them were some Netchilliks we had met during the spring. As soon
as they recognized me they set up a great shout of "Many-tu-me!" which
is their salutation of welcome, and means smooth. They seemed very glad
that we were coming among them again, and hurried me into a big, warm
igloo, while most of the men ran out and helped the sled in. They built
our igloo in short order, and during the time we were with them did
everything in their power to contribute to our comfort. It seemed as if
some one was on the roof of our igloo all the time patching up holes,
and they changed the direction of the doorway every time the wind
changed, and that kept them busy nearly all the time.

We found but few interesting relics among them. Only a piece of the
boat found in Wilmot Bay after the big ship sunk, and part of the block
branded either "10" or "O R," with part of the R obliterated. If the
ship's blocks were branded with the name of the vessel to which they
were attached, this would be important as establishing the identity of
the ship that drifted down as the 'Terror'. As an instance of the
perversity of fate, I mention that we found among them a piece of wax
candle that they had preserved all these years, while every scrap of
paper had perished. We saw here a Netchillik, named Issebluet, who with
his family had nearly starved to death during the summer. He was
separated from the rest of his tribe, as it is customary for them to
scatter during the summer, and though not lacking in skill or energy,
had simply been unfortunate and unable to procure food. He was still
very thin and weak when we saw him, and when he went abroad had to take
a couple of dogs, whose traces, tied around his waist, helped him
along. Joe was very much frightened all the time we were here, for
Netchillik Toolooah was here also--the man who it was said wanted to
kill some of our party--and Joe said they intended to kill all our
party except the women, and obtain possession of the baggage and the
two women. He said their apparent kindness was only a blind, and the
day we left them he made me prance around with my pistol in my belt
while the sled was being loaded. Toolooah, though not so nervous as
Joe, had his rifle handy and kept his eye upon it closely. I noticed
that the men all stood around, but never offered to assist in loading
the sled. Toolooah said they could not very well without exposing a
fact that he had noticed--that they all had their knives in their
sleeves. But if they had, they took good care not to use them. Two of
them accompanied us a part of the way to show us the easiest route over
the heavy hill we had to cross before reaching the salt-water ice, and
kindly put their shoulders to the load whenever the sled pulled hard. I
saw nothing in the conduct of any of them to complain of, but
everything to praise. I noticed that most of the men in this camp had
their hair cut close to their heads, the style that at home is
profanely called "a Reilly cut." This I ascertained was not for
personal adornment, but for convenience in hunting, where fine-tooth
combs are unknown, but could be put to good use.

We met a sled with a few natives coming from Kigmuktoo to join the rest
of the tribe on the lake, and with them was an aged crone named
Toolooah, who had seen white men in Boothia Isthmus, when a young
woman, and had also been with the party who found the boat and
skeletons in Starvation Cove, near Richardson Point. She confirmed the
testimony previously obtained in every essential particular. We gave
her a few needles and a spoon, for which she was very grateful,
especially to her namesake, our Toolooah, to whom she gave her
walking-stick and two locks of her hair, which he severed with a
snow-knife as she knelt beside the sled. This was a charm to protect
him from evil until he got home. Besides this old woman there were three
other women on the sled. One I noticed particularly, because she looked
so much like the Goddess of Liberty. Her hood was over her head and hung
with the same jaunty air as a liberty cap, and her artiger, cut loose in
the throat, looked not unlike the classic toga. Though not quite so
large as the statue on the dome of the Capitol at Washington, she was
immense, and had arms like a gymnast. Modesty, either natural or
assumed, and fear of the strange white men made her keep on the
opposite side of the sled from us, though, as Lieutenant Schwatka
remarked, she could have handled both of us if she wanted to.

We marched in a south-east direction in the inlet five days, during
which we travelled upon it about forty-five miles, and when we left it
could still see it running in a southerly direction for about ten or
fifteen miles farther. It is bottle-shaped, not more than a mile wide
at its mouth, and for a considerable distance, when it gradually widens
out to five or six miles, and is about twenty miles wide at its head.
Nearly every night we were able to find water in some lake on the land,
but had to carry it from two to four miles into camp. This duty
Lieutenant Schwatka and I took upon ourselves, while the Inuits were
building and preparing the igloo.

The sun was so low now that we had either sunrise or sunset during the
whole time it was above the horizon. At noon it was not more than four
degrees high. We were gradually moving southward, or we would have been
left with nothing but this light during the daytime. In fact, several
days before we left Back's River, the sun only showed his diameter
above the hills along the shore, where it lazily rolled for a few
minutes and left us the long twilight in which to build our igloos,
which were scarely ever finished before the utter darkness came upon
us. Short days, together with our heavy sleds, and dogs not more than
half fed, kept us back most provokingly. The snow on the land was soft,
not having got thoroughly packed as yet, while the intense cold covered
its surface with minute particles of ice that impeded the sled like so
much sand. In many places the river and lakes were entirely denuded of
snow, and the bare ice would take the ice from our runners as if we
were moving over rocks. As long as the river ice was bare this made no
difference; the sled would slip along merrily, the dogs on a run, but
this seldom lasted for more than half a mile, when we would again run
upon snow and have all the more laborious drag as a consequence. Our
usual marches at this time were from five to ten miles, instead of from
ten to twenty, as on our way north.

The most unpleasant feature of winter travelling is the waiting for an
igloo to be built. To those at work even this time can be made to pass
pleasantly, and there is plenty that even the white men of a party can
do that would keep them busy, and consequently comfortable. When
travelling overland the halt is made, if possible, on some lake where a
water hole may be dug. This, through average ice--that is, about six or
seven feet--will take about an hour and a half, though an expert native
will do it in perhaps half that time. It is a blessing to get water at
this time, and a great shout goes up from the well-digger, as the
delicious fluid comes bubbling up through the narrow well, that is
echoed by the igloo builders and spreads throughout the camp. Then the
women repair with tin dippers and cups cut from musk-ox horn, and after
refreshing themselves carry a drink to their husbands. One can drink
enormously at this time, especially after working; but it will be well
to keep up pretty violent exercise for some time afterward, as filling
the stomach with such a quantity of ice-cold water will soon produce a
shiver.

Another task that the white men can interest themselves in is the
unloading of the sled and beating the snow and ice out of the fur
bed-clothing. The Esquimaux do not use sleeping bags for themselves,
but instead have a blanket which they spread over them, while under them
are several skins, not only to keep the body away from the snow, but
also to prevent the body from thawing the snow couch and thus making a
hole that would soon wet the skins. While on the march the skins for
the bed are usually spread over the top of the loaded sledge, and then
the whole is securely lashed down with seal-skin thongs. It is the
invariable custom to turn the fur-side of the skins up, because it is
easy enough to beat the snow from the hair, while it might thaw and
make the skin-side wet. You often, therefore, find that water has
fallen upon the skin that makes your bed, and formed a great patch of
ice, which has to be beaten off with a wooden club.

Until experience has taught you it makes you shudder to think that soon
your naked body is to rest upon the place where now you see that patch
of ice. But continued pounding will remove every vestige of it without
disturbing the fur, if the weather is sufficiently cold. Therefore
exposure is the best treatment for bedding, though it certainly gives
the skins a degree of cold that can scarcely be appreciated until
experienced. It is astonishing, however, how soon the bed becomes warm
from the heat of the body. For, perhaps, from five to ten minutes you
may lie there and shiver, when gradually a genial warmth begins to
pervade the whole body, the shiver subsides, and you are as
comfortable, as far as cold is concerned, in bed in an igloo in the
Arctic, as you would be in a civilized mansion in the temperate zone.

The Esquimaux are not acquainted with the qualities of the magnetic
needle, and, it is needless to say, do not travel by the compass. Like
all savage tribes they have, however, methods for keeping their
direction while making long voyages. These are usually made on the
salt-water ice, and they follow the land; but when travelling over
land, either in summer or winter, they can generally distinguish north
from south, at least approximately. In summer the running vines point
to the salt water, they say, which, in going around Hudson's Bay, would
indicate the south. And then there are certain species of moss that are
only found in the vicinity of salt water. In winter they notice the
ridges of snow along the ice, or the land spots on the highlands, and
can keep their course by them with surprising accuracy.

The Esquimaux, however, are not a people given to exploration. They are
not curious concerning unknown territory. What they are chiefly
interested in is, "what they shall eat and drink, and wherewithal they
shall be clothed." Certain districts within their knowledge furnish the
different kinds of game, and these they visit at the accustomed
seasons. Occasionally they will visit neighboring tribes, and sometimes
settle down in the new country, depending upon their skill in the chase
for the support of their families. But this country, new to them, is
well known to those whom they visit, and they have the benefit of
competent guides until such time as they are sufficiently acquainted
with the country themselves. Though they are constantly moving in
summer and winter, their journeys are seldom extended. They will
sometimes go from the mouth of Chesterfield Inlet to the Wager River or
Repulse Bay, and occasionally to the tribes at the north part of
Melville Peninsula, but generally spend one year at least at some
intermediate point. The tribes they pass through on these journeys are
so connected by marriage as to be almost like one large tribe, so that
they are all the time in the land of their friends.

Twice since leaving the Inuit camp in Wilmot Bay the dogs had an
interval of eight days between meals, and were in no condition for hard
work. That they could live and do any work at all seemed marvellous. I
am constrained to believe that the Esquimau dog will do more work, and
with less food, than any other draught animal existing. On the night of
the 20th Lieutenant Schwatka observed a meridian culmination of the
moon, which showed in latitude 67 deg. 32 min. 42 sec. north, only
three miles from our reckoning. It is a difficult task to make
astronomical observations with a sextant in a temperature thirty-eight
degrees below zero, or seventy below the freezing-point, as it was this
night. It is not pleasant to sit still for any length of time in such
weather. A thin skim of ice over the surface of the kerosene oil used
for an artificial horizon has to be constantly removed by the warm
breath of an assistant. The sextant glasses become obscure from the
freezing upon them of the breath of the observer, and can only be
cleaned with the warm fingers, which they blister in return for such
kindness. These are some of the obstacles to determining one's position
astronomically in an Arctic winter; while in summer, there being no
night, one is dependent upon the sun alone. The mean temperature for
November was -23.3 degrees and the lowest noted -49 degrees.

We ran upon a narrow strip of salt water, apparently an inlet from
Cockburn Bay, on the 28th. We had to halt the next day for Toolooah to
rest, as he was completely prostrated with the hard work of the last
four days. We moved, however, on the 30th, Joe driving and Toolooah
strolling along at his ease. We emerged upon Cockburn Bay soon after
starting, and crossed to the southern shore by noontime, a distance of
about nine miles, our rapid moving being entirely owing to the
superiority of the sledging on salt-water ice.

We crossed the narrow neck of land between Cockburn Bay and the
fresh-water portion of the river between the two great bends in three
days' travel, and emerged about eight miles above the Dangerous Rapids
on the 5th of December, where we had hoped to be by the 15th of
November. Our igloos were made on the southern bank, and we were greatly
surprised that we saw no sled tracks in crossing the river. We had
supposed that they, with the shorter route and smooth salt-water ice
nearly all the way, would have been ahead of us, and either waiting or
forced to move into the reindeer country for food. Our first object,
therefore, was to find the natives, who live here all the year round,
as Narleyow, one of the tribe, who was with Henry, constantly assured
us was the case. From these people we expected to get information
concerning the other sleds, and also to get a large quantity of fish for
food for man and beast. We found some fish caches near our camp, and
some sled tracks and footprints about one mile and a half farther down
the river, which Joe said led a long distance. The day after our arrival
we appropriated one large cache to feed our starving dogs, and then
started the next day for their camp to pay for the fish and buy more.
But shortly after all the men started, one of the women ran out and
called us back, saying that Inuits were coming to the igloo. We hastened
back and found three young men of the Ooqueesiksillik tribe, who had
found their cache robbed and traced the tracks to our igloo. Joe
explained the case to them, and said we had knives to pay for the fish
and to buy more, which they said would be gladly accepted, and they
would tell their people to bring us more fish that night. We were
astonished when they said they had neither seen nor heard of any others
of our party.

That night, after the igloo was closed and we were eating our evening
meal, we heard a sled drive up to the door and supposed our fish had
arrived; but what was our joy when we recognized Koumania's voice
driving the dogs, and then heard Henry at the door of our igloo. We
then learned that they had reached the Dangerous Rapids only that
afternoon, and while building the igloos the three young men we had
seen in the morning returned and reported having seen us up the river.
As soon as Henry heard this he had the load dumped from one of the
sleds, and took Koumania to drive and an Ooqueesiksillik native as
guide, and came at once to report. He said it had been very difficult
to get his party of natives away from the camps that they met daily,
and that they had moved by portages, which doubled the distance. He had
bought dog food of the natives all along the route, and his dogs were,
consequently, in good order. They would remain in camp where they were
a day or two to feed up the dogs and get what fish they wanted for his
two sleds, and then join us on the 10th.

About five miles inland from Starvation Cove the natives had found
during the summer the skeleton of a white man which no one had ever
seen before. On the way down, Henry visited the place and erected a
monument over the remains. The pieces of clothing found indicated that
deceased was a sailor, not an officer. The finding of this grave is
worthy of notice, as showing that the natives were thoroughly aroused
by our visit and its object. We had promised them liberal rewards for
everything of importance found, and for valuable information--that is,
anything new--and were always particular to keep our promises. The
consequence was that they had greatly aided us by searching everywhere
within reach of their camps or hunting grounds. In approaching the
Dangerous Rapids from Cockburn Bay, Henry had found an island where on
the Admiralty chart is marked a point of the mainland. In fact, there
is a delta at the mouth of the river. Narleyow led them to a place in
the branch of the river flowing to the westward of this island, where
he said a rocky ridge froze to the bottom, making a pocket which held
fish. They dug four holes within an area of ten feet, and in one day
caught fifty-seven of the immense salmon for which this river is
famous. He cooked one for us, which was the largest I ever saw. Joe
measured the cross-section of one he saw in the native igloos below our
camp that measured over one foot. I asked him how much over, but he
couldn't tell, he said, as his pocket measure was "only a foot long".

[Illustration: VIEW ON BACK'S RIVER.]

The largest number of fish caught here are what the natives call
"cow-e-sil-lik," and are peculiar to these waters. They are something
like very large herring, and the flesh much coarser than salmon or
trout. All the fish here are quite fat, the salmon especially. We bought
several bags of salmon oil from the natives, which we used, so long as
it lasted, as a substitute for reindeer tallow, which is all gone now.
The weather is intensely cold -62 degrees Fahrenheit on the 10th, the
day the remainder of our party rejoined us at this camp. There was
scarcely any wind, and it did not seem so cold as at -10 degrees or -20
degrees, with the wind blowing in one's face, as it was the last few
days of our travelling, with the thermometer at -46 degrees and -48
degrees. Yet we were so well fortified against the cold by the
quantities of fat we had eaten that we did not mind it. The prospect
was that now we were out of fat we would suffer a great deal with the
intense cold that we might expect in going across land from Back's
River to Hudson's Bay.

The rapids on Back's River are all marked by open water, and are
recognizable at a long distance by the column of black smoke arising
from them like steam from a boiling caldron. The ice in the vicinity is
dangerous to travel upon, there often being thin places, where the
moving water has nearly, but not quite, cut through, and not
distinguishable from the surrounding ice, which may be four or five
feet thick. The natives test it, before going upon it, with a knife or
stick, and know from the sound whether or not it is safe to travel
upon. In some of the many open water places that we found in our
journey up the river we could walk boldly up to the very edge and lie
down and quench our thirst from the rushing torrent, while in other
places it was not safe to go within several hundred yards of the open
water. On the 20th we passed open rapids about half a mile long, where
we had to take the land. From the top of the hill it was a grand
spectacle to look down upon the seething torrent and see the great
cakes of ice broken off above and crushed to atoms as they passed
through and under the ice below.

[Illustration: THE DANGEROUS RAPIDS, BACK'S RIVER.]

We had hoped to have Narleyow go with us to Depot Island, as he had
previously been up Back's River and knew a route overland by which in
three days we could reach a river where some Kinnepatoos were encamped
all the year round. Here we could refit with meat and clothing and
follow the river, which flows into Chesterfield Inlet, and then keep
upon the salt-water ice to Depot Island. But with true Inuit
perverseness he decided at the last minute not to go. He, however, gave
Toolooah minute directions for finding the place where to leave Back's
River, which is nearly as far west as Lake McDougal, and the route
overland, where we would find sledge tracks and footprints to guide us
to the camp.

We found the travelling on Back's River much more tedious than we had
anticipated, owing to the bare ice in the vicinity of the open-water
rapids and the intense cold which kept the air filled with minute
particles of ice from the freezing of the steam of the open water.
These little particles of ice would fall upon the hard snow, which
otherwise would have been good sledging, and remain separated from each
other so that you could brush them up like sand, and were, in fact,
nearly as hard as sand, so that it was almost impossible to drag the
sledges along. The thermometer would frequently register -50 degrees
and -60 degrees when we were moving with a strong wind blowing directly
in our faces. Such travelling as this is simply terrible, and it is
astonishing that we were able to do it without encountering any severe
frost-bites. Indeed, we travelled one day with the thermometer -69
degrees, and, a gale blowing at this time, both white men and Inuits
were more or less frost-bitten, but merely the little nippings of nose,
cheeks, and wrists that one soon gets accustomed to in this country. As
Lieutenant Schwatka says, it is like almost all other dangers that you
hear and read about, they seem to dwindle when you meet them boldly
face to face. A battle always seems more terrible to those in the rear
than to those in the front lines.

It was a noticeable fact that our course up the river was considerably
east of south, instead of west, as mapped upon the Admiralty chart.
There could be no mistake in regard to this when we could daily see the
sun rise and set on the right of our general line of travel. It was
near the end of December before we reached the vicinity of Mount
Meadowbank, though we had hoped to be far beyond it by that time.
Storms had kept us in camp several days during the journey up the
river, and our provisions were nearly all exhausted, so that we had to
lie over to hunt for game. The hunters could find nothing near the
river, and were obliged to go with a sled one day's march to the east,
build an igloo, and hunt from there. It was terribly cold for them,
sleeping in an igloo, without fire or blankets, merely a shelter from
the wind, and forced, as they were, to sleep in their clothes. I have
had such experience and know what it is. In such cases one suffers more
from cold feet than anything else. They would be intensely cold with
dry stockings, but one's stockings are always wet from perspiration
after walking, and when compelled to wear them at night cause great
suffering.

Equeesik killed four reindeer, and we had to wait for them to be
brought in. At this time this was all the food we had, and before more
was obtained we were upon short rations. The dogs were beginning to
feel the effect of hard work, cold weather, and low diet, and already
we had lost two fine young dogs that died in consequence of privation.
Before we had reached Depot Island we lost twenty-seven dogs, all but
four of which died from the hardships incident to the journey. All
hands were in harness whenever we marched, and the work was too hard to
admit of feeling the cold as the greatest discomfort we had to
encounter.




CHAPTER XIV.

FAMINE.


The last day we travelled on the river, December 28th, the thermometer
had registered during the day -69 degrees in the morning, -64 degrees
at noon, and -68 degrees at five o'clock in the evening; the lowest,
101 degrees below the freezing-point. Toolooah, Joe, and Ishnark went
hunting the next day, but were unfortunate in not being able to secure
any game, though they saw a small herd of reindeer. Toolooah reported
the land sledging in good condition toward the south-east, much better
than upon the river, and said there appeared to be plenty of game a
day's march from the river in that direction. Lieutenant Schwatka,
therefore, decided to abandon the river at once and strike directly for
Depot Island, which had the advantage of being a straighter route than
the one by the unsurveyed river proposed by Narleyow. With a guide that
would have been feasible; but it would be running much risk to attempt
to find our way by the longer route in a country whose game we knew
nothing of, with a large party dependent upon the very difficult
hunting for support.

It is a difficult matter to keep guns in working order in the intensely
cold weather we were experiencing. At sixty and seventy degrees below
zero everything freezes. Even the iron and wood are affected. Strong
oak and hickory will break almost like icicles, and when guns were
brought into the warmer temperature of an igloo to clean, they would
gather moisture, which had to be removed from every portion of the lock
and working parts before again meeting the cold, or they would be
worthless as weapons. They must also be kept free from oil or any kind
of grease, as all lubricants of that sort will harden and prevent the
working of the lock. It is but fair to state in this connection that
our fire-arms, in which all the best American manufacturers were
represented, worked admirably under these trying circumstances, and I
feel justified in saying that it was their superiority in rapid and
accurate delivery, in the hands of good hunters, that carried us
through this ordeal. It is a matter of great difficulty to get near
enough to such wary game as the reindeer, in winter, when the sound of
the hunter's footsteps, though the soles of his shoes are covered with
fur, is carried on the wind and can be distinctly heard more than a
mile away. I have frequently heard the crunching of the sled runners on
the brittle snow--a ringing sound like striking bars of steel--a
distance of over two miles. It was one advantage in travelling against
a head wind, to counterbalance the discomfort, that it carried the
sound of the sleds away from game we might be approaching. After the
first day's march from Back's River we were never compelled to lie in
camp for the purposes of hunting game, for when we did come upon a herd
the breech-loaders and magazine-guns did their work so effectively that
we could lay in a stock of meat for a day or two ahead.

We left Back's River behind on the last day of the year, and made about
seven miles in a south-east direction, and encamped and stopped to
hunt, the last halt we made for that purpose. The mean temperature for
December was -50.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the lowest -69 degrees, and the
highest -26 degrees. January 3d the thermometer reached the lowest
point that we saw during our sojourn in this climate--in the morning
-70 degrees, at noon -69 degrees, and at five o'clock in the afternoon
the extraordinary mark of -71 degrees. Equeesik moved his igloo about
ten miles ahead this day, but the other two igloos were compelled to
wait for their hunters to come in. The day, notwithstanding the
intensity of the cold, was very pleasant. There was scarcely a breath
of wind, and our igloo door was open the entire day. In fact, it was a
far pleasanter day to be out of doors than with 50 degrees warmer and
the wind blowing. January proved a very stormy month; indeed, there
were but eleven days in which we could travel, and we only accomplished
ninety-one miles toward our destination during that time. One day, the
19th, we lay over to follow up some musk-ox tracks we had seen the day
previous. The weather was fine, notwithstanding a pretty strong wind
and a temperature of -65 degrees.

[Illustration: THE MARCH IN EXTREME COLD WEATHER.]

We followed the tracks about twenty-five miles, and only desisted when
we found that wolves were ahead of us and had already frightened the
game away. The country is filled with reindeer, and on every hill-side
their breath can be seen rising like clouds of steam. A herd that was
frightened by the dogs, which were following the musk-ox tracks,
scampered off in every direction, and it looked as if a lot of
locomotives had been let loose over the country, the smoke coming from
their lungs in great puffs as they ran, and streaming along behind
them. When the sledges are moving during a clear cold day, the position
of any one of them is known to the team, though they may be widely
separated. Sometimes, for the advantage of hunting to be obtained
thereby, our igloos have been separated by a day's march of about ten
miles, and at that distance the condensed breath of the dogs and people
could be distinctly seen and the position of the igloos located.

January proved the coldest month of our experience, with a mean
thermometer of -53.2 degrees, lowest -71 degrees, and the highest -23
degrees Fahrenheit. We experienced one storm of thirteen days' duration
during the latter part of January and early part of February, and found
but thirteen days during which we could travel in the latter month.

It was almost our daily experience now to lose one or more dogs. They
got plenty of reindeer meat, but it was usually fed frozen, and has but
little nourishment in it in that state for cold weather, when fat and
warming food is required. A seal-skinful of blubber each week would
have saved many of our dogs; but we had none to spare for them, as we
were reduced to the point when we had to save it exclusively for
lighting the igloos at night. We could not use it to warm our igloos or
to cook with. Our meat had to be eaten cold--that is, frozen so solid
that it had to be sawed, and then broken into convenient-sized lumps,
which when first put into the mouth were like stones--or cooked with
moss gathered from the hill-sides and the snow beaten off with a stick.
Meat will freeze in a temperature a little below the freezing-point,
but it is then in a very different condition from the freezing it gets
at from sixty to seventy degrees below zero. Then every piece of meat
you put in your mouth has first to be breathed upon to thaw the
surface, or it will stick to your tongue and sides of your mouth and
lips like frosty iron, and with the same disagreeable results. The
luxury of a cooked meal could only be indulged in on the days when we
were lying over in camp, as to gather the moss and cook the meal would
take from three to four hours.

The country began to swarm with wolves now, as well as with reindeer,
and we would meet them daily. Often they would come close to the
igloos, and one night Toolooah shot one of three that were eating the
meat he had thrown out for food for our dogs.

They killed and ate four of Equeesik's dogs, and attacked him when he
went out of the igloo to drive them off. He killed two of his
assailants with his rifle, and two others by the most infernal traps
ever devised. He set two keenly sharpened knife-blades in the ice and
covered them with blood, which the wolves licked, at the same time
slicing their tongues, the cold keeping them from feeling the wounds at
the time, and their own warm blood tempting them to continue until
their tongues were so scarified that death was inevitable. He also
prepared some pills by rolling up long strips of whalebone, bound with
sinew and hidden in meat, which freezing would hold together until it
had passed into the animal's intestines, when the meat having thawed,
and the sinew digested, the whalebone would open out and produce an
agonizing death. If anything were bad enough treatment for wolves,
these devices of Equeesik's might be so classed.

Toolooah was out hunting on the 23d of February, when a pack of about
twenty wolves attacked him. He jumped upon a big rock, which was soon
surrounded, and there he fought the savage beasts off with the butt of
his gun until he got a sure shot, when he killed one, and while the
others fought over and devoured the carcass, he made the best of the
opportunity to get back into camp. It was a most fortunate escape, as
he fully realized.

On the 25th we were detained in camp by a storm, which Toolooah took
advantage of for hunting. He saw a reindeer not far from camp, and was
soon astonished to see another Inuit following the same animal. The
stranger, when he saw Toolooah, ran back to his igloo; but Toolooah let
the reindeer go and followed the man, whom he found to be a Kinnepatoo
acquaintance named Tsedluk. From him he learned that Depot Island was
only two igloos, or three days off, with long marches and light
sledges. We moved up to Tsedluk's igloo the following day, and bought
some meat from him, as game was scarce beyond. Here we cached all our
heavy stuff, and with light sleds and forced marches reached Depot
Island on the 4th day of March, by way of Connery River, which we came
upon on the 2d. The mean temperature for the past month had been -44.8
degrees, and the coldest recorded -69 degrees Fahrenheit.

We found open water at the rapids where Connery River empties into its
estuary, and the ice four feet above water-line. It was with
considerable difficulty that a safe passage was found for the sledges,
but once on the salt-water ice we moved along rapidly. The prospect of
reaching home the next day was very exhilarating, and the dogs seemed
to catch the infection from their masters. The poor, jaded beasts
coiled their tails over their backs and ran along barking until we
halted for the night, within about twenty miles of our destination. We
still knew nothing concerning Hudson's Bay since we left a year before,
Tsedluk having seen no one since he came to the camp where we found
him. The great question with us was, "Were any ships in the bay?" If
there were, the prospect was that there would be some news from home
and letters from our friends. We hoped that there were ships, and
believed that they would be wintering at Depot Island, as it was the
unanimous opinion of the officers of the fleet at Marble Island the
previous year that Depot Island was a far preferable place to winter
at, on account of the difficulty of getting fresh meat for the crews at
the other harbor.

[Illustration: VIEW ON CONNERY RIVER.]

At any rate, we felt sure of finding our hard bread, pork, and
molasses, together with some other provisions that Captain Barry said
he could spare and leave with Armow, the native who had charge of our
stuff at Depot Island, and the prospect of again eating some civilized
food was most cheering. The natives exhibited an unwonted degree of
activity, and we got under way at seven o'clock the next morning,
moving off at the rate of three miles and a half an hour. We soon
arrived in sight of Depot Island, and looked anxiously for sledge
tracks, which we felt sure would be abundant here if the ships were
near by. We saw no tracks for so long a time that we soon began to
doubt that there were even any natives there.

About noon we were within four or five miles of the island, and saw
some natives on the ice in the dim distance. Then all was excitement in
our party, and it increased as the distance diminished. I never
expected to feel so agitated as I did when I found myself running and
shouting with the natives. Toolooah fired a signal-gun, then jumped on
the sled and waved a deer-skin, which had been agreed between him and
Armow as announcing our identity on our return.

At last the sleds drew near enough to recognize Armow, who was
hastening up to us ahead of the others. When they halted he grasped
Lieutenant Schwatka by the hand and shook it long and heartily, saying,
"Ma-muk-poo am-a-suet suk-o" ("Plenty good to see"), and then he
came to me, and I noticed, as he held my hand, the tears, warm from
his dear old heart, were coursing down his cheeks. I was moved, as
I scarcely anticipated, at the tenderness and earnest warmth of
our reception. There were Eeglee-leock, Nanook, Seb-euck-to-lee,
Shok-pe-nark, Con-we-chiergk (Toolooah's brother), Koo-pah, Eve-loo,
and a host of boys, while Petulark, Ter-re-ah-ne-ak, and others came
in later from the direction of Camp Daly.

From Armow we learned that there was only one ship in the bay, and that
it was at Marble Island; and furthermore, that there were no provisions
for us at Depot Island. This seemed utterly incomprehensible to us, as
Captain Barry had about a thousand pounds of hard bread on board the
'Eothen' that belonged to us, besides some other provisions, and
had promised to leave them with Armow, at Depot Island, for us, well
knowing that we would need them there.

Armow said he had a piece of paper with some writing on, that he
thought was from Captain Fisher; but we supposed it must be some
explanation of this extraordinary circumstance. We therefore hastened
with our Inuit friends to their igloos, which were on the ice about
three miles from Depot Island, and found the note to be from Captain
Fisher, giving some excuse for not leaving some things that he had
expected to. The inevitable conclusion was then forced upon us that
Barry had absolutely gone away with the food from us without a word of
explanation, though he had landed at Depot Island and taken off the
casks that held our bread when we came ashore. It is usually considered
that those who encounter the perils of Arctic travel have enough to
contend with from the very nature of the undertaking, and not only
their own countrymen but all civilized nations have hastened to help
them when opportunity afforded. Even the savages with whom they come in
contact have pity for them.

Before resuming our march there was a painful scene at the sledges.
Toolooah heard of the death of his mother, in whose charge he had left
his little daughter when starting on the expedition, and a group of
relatives and friends stooped around the sledge weeping, the women
giving vent to their feelings in prolonged wails and moaning. This
lasted for about ten minutes, during which I learned from the other
natives that they had a very severe winter and much suffering for lack
of food. Several deaths had occurred in the tribes since we left. A
large portion was now at Wager River, but would be down in the spring
or early in the summer. We afterward learned that they, too, had
suffered for food. After shaking hands with other old friends at the
camp we went into Armow's igloo and ate some frozen walrus meat and
blubber that tasted delicious to us, the blubber especially, it having
been so long since we had eaten fat food, though so much requiring it.
They had but a short supply of meat on hand when we arrived, and the
advent of twenty-two hungry travellers and nineteen starving dogs soon
reduced their stores, so that, a storm at once setting in from the
north-west, making it a useless task to hunt walrus, there was a famine
in camp before the end of a week.

They can only hunt walrus successfully at Depot Island with a southerly
wind to hold the ice-pack to the floe. Seals are hunted with dogs to
find the blow-hole of amog-low, or seal igloo, which, often covered
with loose snow, is hidden from the hunter. When found, a wall of snow
is built as a protection against the wind, while the hunter waits for
hours, and sometimes for days, until the seal comes up to blow, when he
is struck through the hole in the ice with a spear and held by a line
attached to the boat. It is necessary for this style of hunting that
the weather should be such that one can see at a short distance, or on
the trackless waste of smooth ice the hunter is apt to get lost. Most
of the time we were here it was blowing so that land could not be seen
at one hundred yards' distance. It might be well to explain here that,
when the wind blows, the dry snow fills the air so that it is thicker
than the severest snow-storm in the temperate zone. The Inuits call
this condition of affairs "pairk-se-uk-too", and one can witness
it almost daily during the winter.

It was the eighth day after our arrival before the storm abated
sufficiently to let the hunters out with any prospect of success.
The wind was still from the north, and it was very provoking that
they could see plenty of walrus and seal on the pack, but far beyond
their reach. Affairs were getting desperate now. In the last five days
we had but one meal a day, composed at first of about a quarter of a
pound of walrus or seal meat, but lately of "kow"--that is, the thick
hide of the walrus, with a thin cover of short hair on it, such as is
seen on the old fashioned seal-skin trunks. As the hunters got nothing,
we were without even our "kow" the next day, with the prospect of
remaining without food until Eeglee-leock and Nanook got back from
Marble Island, where they went for relief from the natives there three
days ago. Lieutenant Schwatka went with them in order to try to get
some food for us from the ship. All they had to eat on the way down was
walrus blubber, and so great was their anxiety for us that Lieutenant
Schwatka and Eeglee-leock left the sled behind at Chesterfield Inlet
with Nanook, and walked one day and night without resting, reaching
Marble Island at six o'clock in the morning, after a walk of about
seventy-five miles.

One of the women in our camp died this day, her death hastened by
privation. She was the wife of Te-wort, or "Papa," as he is universally
called, not only by the white visitors to Hudson's Bay, but by his own
people. The benignant Inuit custom that allows a plurality of wives to
those that desire it, leaves him not altogether comfortless in his old
age; but "Cockeye" was his first favorite wife, and the mother of the
great majority of his children. The funeral ceremonies covered four
days, and the morning of the fifth "Papa" visited the grave, and after
his return there was nothing to prevent the usual course of events
which the burial and mourning customs had interrupted. Even the dogs
could be fed if there was anything to give them to eat.

It was a mournful camp after the hunters got in, Friday night, the
12th of the month, empty handed. They all felt the danger that again
threatened them, as it had done twice before during the winter, when
they had to kill and eat some of their starving dogs. People spoke
to each other in whispers, and everything was quiet, save for the
never-ceasing and piteous cries of the hungry children, begging for
food which their parents could not give them. Most of the time I stayed
in bed, trying to keep warm and to avoid exercise that would only make
me all the more hungry. It was impossible to keep warm this night, and
my aching limbs drove sleep from my eyes.

The closing ceremony was a most touching one. After "Papa" had returned
from the grave, Armow went out of doors and brought in a piece of
frozen something that it is not polite to specify further than that the
dogs had entirely done with it, and with it he touched every block of
snow in a level with the beds of the igloo. The article was then taken
out of doors and tossed up in the air to fall at his feet, and by the
manner in which it fell he could joyfully announce that there was no
liability of further deaths in camp for some time to come.

The wind was from the east Saturday, and a little better for hunting,
so the men were off bright and early. About noon there was a joyful
sound in camp. The women and children ran into our igloo shouting
"Iviek seleko" (walrus killed), and fairly jumped up and down in
their joy. I think the veriest stoic would have at least smiled. I know
I laughed and said "good," though I tried to look dignified and
unconcerned. Thank God, the danger was over, for the present at least,
and I should be able to start for Marble Island in a day or two. It was
not until the 17th, however, that I got away at last, as no sledges
could move or the dogs be fed during the four days succeeding the death
of "Papa's" wife. According to the Inuit belief, an infringement of
this custom would cause a fearful mortality that I did not care to
become responsible for, and had to wait patiently until the gods of the
walrus and seal were satisfied that due respect had been paid to the
memory of the departed.

The first day of my march to Marble Island I met Ikomar coming with
relief for our camp, and took from his sled one of two boxes containing
hard bread and some pork, molasses, and tobacco, sending another box
and the remainder of the food to Henry and Frank, who would come down
to Marble Island when Ikomar returned. I found a note from Lieutenant
Schwatka, in which I read that a bottle of whiskey was among the stores
sent; but in the excitement of the occasion and my interest in some
papers of 1879, I forgot to look for it. My surprise and disappointment
can therefore be imagined that night, when Toolooah dragged the bottle
forth from the bottom of the bread box, and asked what it was. We each
drank some of the contents, and I noticed, on pouring it into a tin
cup, that it was of the consistency of thick syrup, and the cup
absolutely froze to my lips, at the same time burning them as if with a
red-hot knitting-needle. I had often before heard of a bottle of
whiskey freezing to a person's lips, but until that moment I had
regarded the assertion as a base effort to deceive and to divert the
mind from the actual cause of a too prolonged hold of the bottle. I
found the whiskey a great comfort on the trip to Marble Island, and
could not help feeling that our long winter journey would have been
made much more comfortable by some form of ardent spirits, probably
diluted alcohol, to be partaken of in small quantities each night on
arriving in camp, or after unusually fatiguing work and exposure.

I reached the ship 'George and Mary' at midnight of Saturday the
21st, and found every one in bed, except Captain Baker, who received
me very kindly, and at once impressed me as a straightforward,
generous-spirited man. The cabin of his vessel is exceedingly small
and inconvenient, but the officers submitted to much discomfort in
our behalf. I found that the crew had been entirely free from scurvy,
which had so seriously afflicted the crews of the fleet at Marble
Island the previous winter. The entire freedom from this disease seems
to be attributable to Captain Baker's excellent management, and the
constant feeding of fresh reindeer, walrus, or seal meat to the crew,
as well as to those in the cabin.

He had, however, lost one man, George Vernoi, a Canadian, who died of
consumption, with which he was suffering when he shipped at New
Bedford, and one officer, Mr. Charles A. Lathe, of Swansea, Mass.,
first mate, who froze to death while on a hunting expedition to the
main-land during the previous fall. He, together with Mr. Gilbert, the
third officer of the vessel, and some Kinnepatoo Inuits, went ashore on
the 1st of October to secure fresh meat for the crew. In five days they
had killed seven reindeer, and started to return to the ship; but a
gale prevented their working to windward, and, their sail torn from the
mast, they drifted during the night to a small barren island, where in
the morning their boat was broken and their provisions washed away.
They were suffering extremely from thirst, having neglected to bring
water with them from the shore, and found none on the island. A day was
spent in endeavoring to repair the boat, and after another bitter night
on the island, without water, they got away at nearly nightfall of the
day following and reached another island where they found water and
spent the night.

Mr. Lathe had already suffered extremely with the cold, as well as with
hunger and thirst, and next day, after walking in a snow-storm about
twenty miles toward the Kinnepatoo village, on the main-land, he gave
up entirely and lay down to die. Mr. Gilbert urged his companion to
make another effort, but to no purpose, and had finally to abandon him,
though still alive, for the Inuits were nearly out of sight, and as
they would not wait for him his own life depended on keeping them in
view. Arrived at the Kinnepatoo camp, which was about ten miles from
where his companion fell, Mr. Gilbert was much exhausted. The natives
then treated him very kindly and supplied him with dry clothing, but no
persuasion or promises of reward could induce any of them to go back
and look after Mr. Lathe, whom they said would be dead before they
found him. Mr. Gilbert remained here for more than two months, when the
arrival of some of the tribe from the north brought the joyful news
that the ice bridge had formed between Marble Island and the main-land,
and then they were willing to conduct him to the ship, where he arrived
on the 23d of December, long after all on board had given them both up
as dead.

During the year that we were absent from the verge of civilization, as
the winter harbor of the whalers may be considered, we had travelled
2,819 geographical, or 3,251 statute miles, most of which was entirely
over unexplored territory, constituting the longest sledge journey ever
made, both as to time and distance, and the only extended sledge
journey ever accomplished in the Arctic, except such as have been made
through countries well known and over routes almost as thoroughly
established as post-roads. Our sledge journey stands conspicuous as the
only one ever made through the entire course of an Arctic winter, and
one regarded by the natives as exceptionally cold, as the amount of
suffering encountered by those remaining at Depot Island attested, and
further confirmed, as we afterward learned, by the experience of those
who wintered at Wager River, where many deaths occurred, attributable
to the unusual severity of the season. The party successfully withstood
the lowest temperature ever experienced by white men in the field,
recording one observation of -71 degrees Fahrenheit, sixteen days whose
average was 100 degrees below the freezing-point, and twenty-seven
which registered below -60 degrees Fahrenheit, during most of which the
party travelled. In fact, the expedition never took cold into
consideration, or halted a single day on that account.

During the entire journey its reliance for food, both for man and
beast, may be said to have been solely upon the resources of the
country, as the expedition started with less than one month's rations,
and it is the first in which the white men of an expedition voluntarily
lived exclusively upon the same fare as its Esquimau assistants, thus
showing that white men can safely adapt themselves to the climate and
life of the Esquimaux, and prosecute their journeys in any season or
under such circumstances as would the natives of the country
themselves. The expedition was the first to make a summer search over
the route of the lost crews of the 'Erebus' and 'Terror', and
while so doing buried the remains of every member of that fated party
above ground, so that no longer the bleached bones of those unfortunate
explorers whiten the coasts of King William Land and Adelaide Peninsula
as an eternal rebuke to civilization, but all have, for the time being
at least, received decent and respectful interment.

The most important direct result of the labors of the expedition will
undoubtedly be considered the establishing of the loss of the Franklin
records at the boat place in Starvation Cove; and as ever since Dr.
Rae's expedition of 1854, which ascertained the fate of the party, the
recovery of the records has been the main object of subsequent
exploring in this direction, the history of the Franklin expedition may
now be considered as closed. As ascertaining the fate of the party was
not so gratifying as would have been their rescue or the relief of any
member thereof, so is it in establishing the fate of the record of
their labors. Next in importance to their recovery must be considered
the knowledge of their irrecoverable loss.

It may be needless to say here that to Lieutenant Schwatka's thorough
fitness for his position as commander of such an expedition may be
attributed its successful conduct through all the various stages of its
experience. The thinking public will place the credit where it so well
belongs, and he will soon find the reward of success in the approval
not only of his countrymen, but of all interested in the extension of
geographical knowledge and scientific research. It is not too much to
say that no man ever entered the field of Arctic labors better fitted
for the task, physically or by education and habits of life and mental
training, than Lieutenant Schwatka. He is endowed by nature with robust
health and a powerful frame, to which fatigue seems a stranger. A
cheerful disposition that finds amusement in the passing trifle, and
powers of concentration that entirely abstract him from his
surroundings, keep him free from "ennui" that is not the least
disagreeable feature of life in this wilderness. And he possesses a
very important adjunct, though to the uninitiated it may seem trifling,
a stomach that can relish and digest fat. The habit of command gives
him a power over our Inuit allies that is not to be disregarded.
"Esquimau Joe" says he never knew them to mind any one so strictly and
readily as they do Lieutenant Schwatka. With all these qualifications
for a leader, and the prestige of success following close upon his
heels, it would not be too much to predict for him a brilliant Arctic
career in the near future.

His excellent management secured his entire party from many of the
usual misfortunes of those in the field, and deprived the expedition of
the sensational character it might have assumed in less skilful hands.
All our movements were conducted in the dull, methodical, business-like
manner of an army on the march. Every contingency was calculated upon
and provided for beforehand, so that personal adventures were almost
unknown or too trival to mention.




CHAPTER XV.

ESQUIMAU HOME-LIFE.


We had, of course, had abundant opportunities to study the habits of
the people among whom we had lived so long. The government among the
Inuit tribes, where they have any at all, is patriarchal, consisting of
advice from the older and more experienced, which is recognized and
complied with by the younger. Parental authority is never strictly
enforced, but the children readily defer to the wishes of their
parents--not only when young, but after reaching man's estate. The old
people are consulted upon all matters of interest. The authority of
parents in their family, and of the chief, or ish-u-mat-tah, in his
tribe, is enforced without fear of punishment or hope of reward.

When a person offends the sentiment of a community, or inflicts injury
upon a neighbor, the matter is talked over among those interested, and
reparation may be demanded in the shape of payment, not in money, for
they have none, or anything that represents it, but in goods, such as a
knife, a sled, a dog, gun, fish-hooks, walrus line, or, indeed,
anything that comes handy. There the matter ends; or, if the offender
declines to settle, the case may be referred to the ish-u-mat-tah, who
will probably insist that payment be made. And yet should the
delinquent still prove contumacious and refuse to pay, the matter rests
there--there is no punishment for his offence. The well-behaved will
talk to the refractory one and say, "ma-muk-poo-now" (no good), but
that is all. Should he be hungry or his family unprovided for, the
others will all assist him just the same as if he did well and obeyed
their laws and customs. He can come into their igloos and chat with
them upon the topics of the day, or join in the meal that is under
discussion, and the stranger would never know but that the utmost
harmony existed among them. If you were one for whom the community had
respect, they might privately inform you that "so and so" was "no
good," but you would never suspect it from their actions toward him.

So it is in the treatment of their children. Punishment for wrong-doing
is almost unheard of, and as for striking a male child, all would
recoil from such a thought with horror. The male child, and especially
the heir, is a prince in his own family circle. Everything is deferred
to his wishes unless he can be persuaded to surrender it. With female
children it is different. They must submit to every act of tyranny on
the part of their brothers at once, or feel the weight of a parent's
hand. Nothing would seem more abhorrent to an Esquimau mind than the
thought of striking a man or boy; but to strike a woman or girl is, on
the contrary, quite proper, and, indeed, laudable. And when one of
those powerful savages strikes his wife it is no gentle love tap, but a
blow that might stagger a pugilist. I remember once seeing an Esquimau
for whom I entertained the greatest respect, strike his gentle and
affectionate young wife, the mother of two fine children. He struck her
upon the head with an an-out-ah (a stick made for beating the snow off
of fur clothing, and in form and weight like a policeman's club). Two
blows fell in quick succession upon that devoted head, and made the
igloo ring again. I was undressed and in my sleeping bag at the time,
but it was with the greatest difficulty that I could restrain myself
from jumping up and interfering to prevent the outrage. It required all
the nerve I could muster. I thought I would never respect my friend
again; but after a while I began to look upon it more calmly, and in
the light of his early training and daily experience for years and
years I thought better of him, though not of the act.

They say it is a proper thing to whip women, "it makes them good," and
they might add, "it is so perfectly safe". I have often talked with
them about it and tried to explain that it was regarded by white people
as cowardly to strike a defenceless creature, but this was utterly
beyond their comprehension. They could understand that it would be
wrong to strike a male, but a female--that was an entirely different
thing. Their system of government in regard to both families and
communities seems to produce good results. Children are obedient and
attentive to their parents, either natural or adopted, and there is but
little occasion for governmental interference in the concerns of the
people.

Whenever difference of opinion gives rise to difficulty and their
intercourse, their usual method of settling the dispute is for those
immediately concerned to assemble in some igloo, with several of the
old men, and talk the matter over until some definite plan of
settlement is reached. This usually proves effectual. I have seen
several of these talks, and though I could not understand much of what
was said, unless I knew beforehand about what it would be, I could see
that the spirit of conciliation manifested itself. All seemed disposed
to do what was right, not from fear of punishment for doing wrong, but
simply because it was right. They are not given to ceremony on such
occasions, or, in fact, upon any other occasion. All the women retire
from the igloo or tupic where the talk is to be held when the men come
in. Then some raw meat is produced, if there is any to be had, and
after eating pipes are lighted and the subject for discussion is
approached, conversation gradually drifting in that direction.
Esquimaux never do anything in a hurry, and these long-winded
roundabout chats are exceedingly congenial to their tastes. So imbued
do they become with this idea that even "Joe," notwithstanding his long
residence with civilized people, could not shake it off.

For instance, Lieutenant Schwatka would say:--"'Joe,' I wish you would
tell the hunters that for the present they must save the saddles of the
reindeer they kill to go upon the sleds, and feed the remainder of the
carcasses to the dogs." "Joe" would invariably say, "Yes, to-night we
will all get together and talk it over." "There is no necessity for
talking it over, 'Joe;' just tell them what I say." But, nevertheless,
"Joe" would have his powwow, and his feed and his smoke, even upon less
important matters than the one mentioned in illustration.

The Esquimaux are polygamists, no distinction whatever being placed
upon the number of wives a man shall have. I have never, however, known
of any instance of one having more than two at a time. This is very
common, however, especially among the Iwilliks and Kinnepatoos, where
there is a surplus of women. At least half of their married men have
two wives. Every woman is married as soon as she arrives at a
marriageable age, and whenever a man dies his wife is taken by some one
else, so that with them old maids and widows are unknown.

Instances of polygamy are not so common among the Netchillik nation,
for the reason, it is said by the tribes in their vicinity, that they
have a custom that prevents the accumulation of women to be taken care
of. Their neighbors say that they kill their female babes as soon as
born. The first is usually allowed to live, and one other may stand
some chance, but that ends the matter. I cannot vouch for the truth of
the assertion from my personal knowledge. I can only say that there
were more unmarried young men among the Netchilliks and Ookjooliks whom
we met than in any other tribe, and but few men with two wives. Among
the children there were plenty of boys and but few girls. I understand
that the mothers often would be willing to rear their daughters; but
the fathers, who have supreme control in their families, insist upon
getting rid of useless mouths and choke their infant babes to death,
the mothers readily acquiescing. Equeesik, one of our hunters on the
sledge journey, who is himself a Netchillik, denies this charge of
female Herodism. He told me that it used to be the custom with his
people, or some of them at any rate, but that they do not do so any
more. I know he has two daughters, one of which was born within a few
days' march of Depot Island, on our return trip, and has no son.

The custom of giving away their children is very common among all
tribes, and a young wife who loses her first-born has seldom any
difficulty in getting a substitute from some one better supplied.
Infants are never weaned. I have seen children four and five years old
playing, out doors, stop once in a while to run in to their mothers,
and cry until they received their milk.

There is very little regard for life manifested by any of the
Esquimaux. Several instances of sudden and strange deaths occurred
among the infant children at Depot Island and vicinity while we were
encamped there. If it were a male child that died, it occasioned some
regret, but if it were a female it was considered all right. Even if it
were well known that an Inuit had murdered his child, or had killed any
one else in cold blood, nothing would be done about it, except that the
relatives of a murdered man would probably ask to be paid for the
slaughter, and if the request were complied with, that would set the
matter at rest. Should it not be complied with, the probability is that
the sons or brothers of the victim would embrace some opportunity to
kill the murderer and give rise for a demand of payment from the family
of the slain murderer, and in case of non-fulfilment a vendetta be
established, as is the case now in the tribe that dwells on the coast
of Baffin's Bay, near the entrance to Eclipse Sound.

Just before we left Depot Island, in the summer of 1880, there arrived
several families from that section of the Arctic, who came, I as
informed, to get rid of the vendetta. It seems that the present cause
of trouble was a young man, quite small in stature, but very active and
energetic, of whom the refugees were very much afraid. Some of their
relatives had killed this young man's father, and when they refused to
pay for it he took occasion to kill the murderer, for which, as is the
custom, they in turn demanded payment. He refused satisfaction, and one
night about a year ago some of these people went to his igloo while the
family were in bed, and through a small hole that had melted through
the snow, they pointed a rifle, and, as they supposed, killed their
enemy, of whom they were so much afraid. Unfortunately for them they
found they had made a mistake, as instead of killing him they had
killed his oldest son, who lay alongside of him in bed. The father said
nothing, but reached for his gun, which he had always convenient for an
emergency, and shortly after the shot was fired, when the murderer
returned to peep through the hole and see the effect of his aim, the
father shot him dead. Then it was that the remaining members of the
family found that this business was getting to be a nuisance and
concluded to leave. As they told me when speaking of the matter, "So
much shooting is no good."

Their method of carrying on this sort of warfare is not at all like the
duello of Christendom. They don't stand up and fight it out, facing
each other; but, on the contrary, appear to be good friends all the
time, until the aggrieved one finds what he considers to be the
propitious moment, and acts accordingly. They never do anything on the
spur of the moment. It takes them a long time to make up their minds,
and whatever they do they do deliberately. The rapid and just
retribution that followed the killing of the child alluded to in this
illustration is the only instance of the kind I know of, though I know
of a number where a few weeks or years intervened, the enemies
associating like the others and eating in common.

There are no wedding ceremonies among the Esquimaux, and hardly
anything like sentiment is known. The relation of man and wife is
purely a matter of convenience. The woman requires food, and the man
needs some one to make his clothing and to take charge of his dwelling
while he is hunting. Marriages are usually contracted while the
interested parties are children. The father of the boy selects a little
girl who is to be his daughter-in-law, and pays her father something.
Perhaps it is a snow-knife, or a sled, or a dog, or now, that many of
them are armed with firelocks, the price paid may be a handful of
powder and a dozen percussion caps. The children are then affianced,
and when arrived at a proper age they live together. The wife then has
her face tattooed with lamp-black and is regarded as a matron in
society. The method of tattooing is to pass a needle under the skin,
and as soon as it is withdrawn its course is followed by a thin piece
of pine stick dipped in oil and rubbed in the soot from the bottom of a
kettle. The forehead is decorated with a letter V in double lines, the
angle very acute, passing down between the eyes almost to the bridge of
the nose, and sloping gracefully to the right and left before reaching
the roots of the hair. Each cheek is adorned with an egg-shaped
pattern, commencing near the wing of the nose and sloping upward toward
the corner of the eye; these lines are also double. The most ornamented
part, however, is the chin, which receives a gridiron pattern; the
lines double from the edge of the lower lip, and reaching to the throat
toward the corners of the mouth, sloping outward to the angle of the
lower jaw. This is all that is required by custom, but some of the
belles do not stop here. Their hands, arms, legs, feet, and in fact
their whole bodies are covered with blue tracery that would throw
Captain Constantinus completely in the shade. Ionic columns, Corinthian
capitals, together with Gothic structures of every kind, are erected
wherever there is an opportunity to place them; but I never saw any
attempt at figure or animal drawing for personal decoration. The forms
are generally geometrical in design and symmetrical in arrangement,
each limb receiving the same ornamentation as its fellow. None of the
men are tattooed.

Some tribes are more profuse in this sort of decoration than others.
The Iwillik, and Kinnepatoos are similar, and as I have described; but
the Netchillik, Ookjoolik, and Ooqueesiksillik women have the designs
upon their faces constructed with three lines instead of two, one of
them being broader than the others. The pattern is the same as that of
the Iwilliks and Kinnepatoos, with the addition of an olive branch at
the outside corners of the eyes and mouth.

Marriage with them is not the sacred institution of civilization, but
exchanges are very common. If a man who is going on a journey has a
wife encumbered with a child that would make travelling unpleasant, he
exchanges wives with some friend who remains in camp and has no such
inconvenience. Sometimes a man will want a younger wife to travel with,
and in that case effects an exchange, and sometimes such exchanges are
made for no especial reason, and among friends it is a usual thing to
exchange wives for a week or two about every two months. Unmarried men
who are going on a journey have no difficulty in borrowing a wife for
the time being, and sometimes purchase the better half altogether.

It might be supposed that in such a state of society there would be no
romances, no marrying for love; but that would be a mistake, for there
have been several romantic little episodes that came under my
observation during my residence in North Hudson's Bay. There is a poor
old man dwelling with the Iwilliks, near Depot Island, named Iteguark,
who had two very attractive and useful wives, or Nu-lee-aug-ar, as is
the native term. The old man had been a good hunter, but a few years
ago met with an accident that resulted in his right knee becoming
stiffened, and his hunting days were over. He can still hunt seals
through the ice, but cannot work up to them on top of the ice, nor can
he chase the reindeer and musk-ox on his native hills. Then it was that
Oxeomadiddlee looked with envious eyes upon the youngest and fairest of
Iteguark's wives, and induced her to come and live with him. She knew
that her new lover was strong and active, and better able to support
her than her old love, and listened to the voice of the tempter.

Iteguark was not disposed to submit meekly to this treachery on the
part of his friend Oxeomadiddlee, so one morning while the truant wife
and her new husband were sleeping in their igloo, Iteguark entered and
sought to take the life of the seducer with a hunting knife. But
Oxeomadiddlee was on his guard, and being a man of immense strength, he
caught his adversary by the wrist, and by the sheer force of his grip
compelled him to drop the weapon on the floor. He then released his
hold, and Iteguark rushed out to his own igloo and got his bow and
quiver; but his enemy was still watchful, and took the bow and arrows
away and destroyed them. Here ended hostilities. Oxeomadiddlee paid the
old man for his wife, and that settled it forever. Presently another
Inuit, named Eyerloo, fell desperately in love with poor old Iteguark's
remaining wife, and with his arts and blandishments won her away from
her husband. There was no fight this time. The poor old man gave up
completely, and said the world was all wrong, and he only waited for
his summons to leave it and mount the golden stairs.

A few years ago an Igloolip Inuit named Kyack won the affections of one
of Ikomar's wives and this brought on a duel in which Kyack came very
near leaving Mrs. Kyack a widow. Ikomar got the head of his enemy in
chancery, and tightened his arm around his neck until Kyack dropped
lifeless upon the snow. He gradually recovered, and would have returned
the stolen wife, but Ikomar refused to take her back, and demanded
payment instead. This was tendered to him, and being appeased by the
offer further trouble was avoided.

Punnie, one of Armow's daughters, was, in her youth, affianced to
Sebeucktelee, but when she reached a marriageable age became the wife
of Conwechungk, her adopted brother. The pretext for this new
arrangement was that Sebeucktelee's father had not made payment at the
time he made the wedding contract, and that Punnie loved Conwechungk
better anyhow, and would take advantage of the omission of the
intended father-in-law. It made no difference that Conwechungk had
another wife--in fact, it was all the better on that account, for he
would have one for himself and another to loan around to his neighbors.
When I left Depot Island I noticed that he had not only loaned his
first wife away, but had traded his dearly beloved Punnie for
Tockoleegeetais' wife for an indefinite period, while Sebeucktelee had
taken to his bosom Netchuk, the discarded wife of Shockpenark. But life
is altogether too short to allow of a complete and reliable record
being made of the social gossip of an Esquimau village. Intermarriages
are common, and everybody is related to every one else in the most
intricate and astonishing manner. I once read of a man who married a
widow, and his father, subsequently marrying the daughter of this same
widow, was driven insane by trying to ascertain the exact relationship
of their children. Such trifles have no effect upon the Inuit brain, or
the entire nation would long ago have become raving maniacs.

The natives of Hudson's Strait dress very much like the others, the
difference being in the women's hoods, which, instead of being long and
narrow, are long and wide, and provided with a drawing string. Instead
of the long stockings, they wear a pair of leggings that reach about
half-way up the thigh, and trousers that are much shorter than those of
the western tribes. The Kinnepatoos are by all odds the most tasteful
in their dress, and their clothing is made of skins more carefully
prepared and better sewed than that of the others, except in occasional
instances.

The bedding of all these Esquimaux is made of reindeer-skins--thick
untanned skins of the buck forming what corresponds with the
mattresses, and a blanket to cover them is made of well-tanned
doe-skins, sewn together so as to be wide at the top and narrowing
into a bag at the feet. All sleep naked, winter and summer, a single
blanket formed of three doe-skins covering a father, mother, and all
the children.

[Illustration: ESQUIMAUX BUILDING A HUT.]

It would astonish a civilized spectator to see how many people can be
stowed away to sleep in one small igloo and under one blanket; but the
proverbial illustration of a box of sardines would almost represent a
skirmish line in comparison. Each one is rolled up into a little ball,
or else arms, legs and bodies are so inextricably interwoven, that it
would be impossible for any but the owners to unravel them. And these
bodies are like so many little ovens, so that, no matter how cold it
be, when once within the igloo, the snow-block door put up and chinked,
and all stowed away in bed, Jack Frost can be successfully defied.

As probably many people know, an igloo is usually built of snow. The
word, however, means house, and as their houses consist of a single
room, it also means room. Sometimes at points that are regularly
occupied during the winter months igloos are built of stones, and moss
piled up around and over them, so that when covered by the winter snows
they make very comfortable dwellings. This is the case at Igloolik,
which means the place of igloos, and also near Tulloch Point, on King
William Land, where the ruins of these underground houses were quite
numerous. They had been built a great many years ago by the Ookjooliks,
when they occupied the land before the Netchillik invasion. A long, low
passage-way leads into each dwelling, so constructed as to exclude the
wind from the interior, though ventilation is permitted by leaving open
the door. This, by the way, is an Inuit custom. Even in the coldest
weather the door is open, except when the occupants are asleep, and it
is only closed then to keep the dogs from making a raid on the igloo.
If the door faces the wind, a shelter is erected outside to cut off the
wind, so that the door need not be closed. The coldest day I ever saw,
when the thermometer was seventy-one degrees below zero, the door of
our igloo was open all the time we were not asleep. A snow igloo is
made of snow-blocks about three feet long by eighteen inches wide and
five or six inches thick.

[Illustration: SECTION AND PLAN OF ESQUIMAU HUT.]

The snow-knife is simply a large thin-bladed knife, like a cheese-knife
of the grocery stores, with a handle made large enough to be
conveniently grasped with both hands. Before iron and knives became so
plentiful as at present, snow-knives were made of bone and reindeer or
musk-ox horn, but such knives are quite rare now. The Netchillik,
Ookjoolik, and Ooqueesiksillik tribes are still quite deficient in iron
weapons and implements, and many of their knives are marvels of
ingenuity. I saw several made of a little tip of iron, perhaps an inch
square, mounted on a handle two feet long, and so shaped that the iron
would do most of the cutting and scratching, and the handle acted
merely as a wedge to assist the operation. I also saw a man making a
knife by cutting a thick piece of iron with a cold chisel, afterward to
be pounded out flat and ground down on stones. The entire operation
would probably take about three or four weeks with the poor tools at
their disposal.

The builder selects snow of the proper consistency by sounding a drift
with a cane, made for the purpose, of reindeer horn, straightened by
steaming, and worked down until about half an inch in diameter, with a
ferule of walrus tusk or the tooth of a bear on the bottom. By
thrusting this into the snow he can tell whether the layers deposited
by successive winds are separated by bands of soft snow, which would
cause the blocks to break. When the snow is selected, he digs a pit to
the depth of eighteen inches or two feet, and about the length of the
snow-block. He then steps down into the pit and proceeds to cut out the
blocks by first cutting down at the ends of the pit, and then the
bottom afterward, cutting a little channel about an inch or two deep,
marking the thickness of the proposed block.

Now comes the part that requires practice to accomplish successfully.
The expert will, with a few thrusts of his knife in just the right
places, split off the snow-block and lift it carefully out to await
removal to its position on the wall. The tyro will almost inevitably
break the block into two or three pieces, utterly unfit for the use of
the builder. When two men are building an igloo, one cuts the blocks
and the other erects the walls. When sufficient blocks have been cut
out to commence work with, the builder marks with his eye, or perhaps
draws a line with his knife describing the circumference of the
building, usually a circle about ten or twelve feet in diameter. The
first row of blocks is then arranged, the blocks placed so as to
incline inward and resting against each other at the ends, thus
affording mutual support. When this row is completed the builder cuts
away the first and second blocks, slanting them from the ground upward,
so that the second tier resting upon the edges of the first row can be
continued on and around spirally, and by gradually increasing the
inward slant a perfect dome is constructed of such strength that the
builder can lie flat on the outside while chinking the interstices
between the blocks. The chinking is, however, usually done by the women
and children as the building progresses, and additional protection
secured from the winds in very cold weather by banking up a large
wooden snow shovel, the snow at the base often being piled to the depth
of three or four feet. This makes the igloo perfectly impervious to the
wind in the most tempestuous weather. When the house is completed, the
builders are walled in. Then a small hole about two feet square is cut
in the wall, on the side away from where the entrance is to be located,
and is used to pass in the lamps and bedding. It is then walled up and
the regular door cut, about two feet high, and nitched at the top. It
would bring bad luck to carry the bedding into the igloo by the same
door it would be taken out. Before the door is opened the bed is
constructed, of snow-blocks, and made from one to three or four feet
high, and occupies about three-fourths of the entire space. The higher
the bed and the lower the door, the warmer the igloo will be.

The house being built, passes into the care of the women, who arrange
the beds and put up the lamps for lighting, warming, and cooking. The
woman's place in the igloo is on either side of the bed, and next to
the wall. In front of her she arranges her lamp, which is a long,
shallow basin of soapstone, the front edge straight and the back
describing an arc. The wick, which is composed of pulverized moss, is
arranged along the front edge, and kept moistened by the oil that fills
the lamp by tilting it forward--the lamp being delicately poised, with
this end in view, upon three sticks driven into the snow beneath it.
If there be two women, they occupy both ends of the bed, each with
her lamp in front of her. Over each lamp is constructed a frame upon
which to dry stockings that have become moistened by perspiration
during the day's exercise, and from which depends the kettle for
melting snow or ice to make water or to cook. The distinctive
Esquimau kettle (oo-quee'-sik) is made of soapstone and is flat
bottomed. It is made long and narrow, so as to fit the flame of the
lamp, and to derive all the benefit possible therefrom. It has the
advantage over the iron and copper kettles, that have come into use
through trade with the whalemen and Hudson Bay Company's posts, of
cooking more rapidly and of not being injured if left over the flame
without water.

[Illustration: ESQUIMAU WOMAN COOKING.]

It is the duty of the women to attend constantly to the lamps, to melt
water for drinking and cooking, and to cook the food. They also turn
the wet shoes and stockings inside out and dry them at night. A "good
wife" is one who sleeps but little after a hard day's march, but
attends constantly to the articles upon the drying frame, turning them
over and replacing the dry with wet. When one frame full of clothing
has been dried, she places the articles under her in the bed, so that
the heat of her body will keep them warm and dry, and replaces them
upon the frame with other articles. She gets up long before any one
else is awake and looks carefully over all the clothing to see what
mending is required. Her position, when not asleep, is with her bare
feet bent under her in Turkish fashion, and there she sits all day long
before her fire, engaged in making clothing, cooking, or other
household duties, and is seldom idle. When at work she lifts up her
voice and sings. The tune lacks melody but not power. It is a relief to
her weary soul, and few would be cruel enough to deprive her of that
comfort, for her pleasures are not many. She is the slave of her
children and her husband, and is treated to more abuse than affection.




CHAPTER XVI.

HOMEWARD.


Notwithstanding the natural anxiety to return again to our native land
after so long an absence, it was with genuine regret that we parted
from our poor savage friends on Depot Island to embark upon the vessel
that was to carry us home. Nor was the sorrow to us alone, for these
simple children of the ice have warm hearts. Some of the old women
embraced us tenderly, while the salt tears cut deep furrows through the
dirt upon their faces. The younger ones exclaimed, and evidently with
truth, "Watcheow oounga keeieyoot amasuet" (By and by me cry plenty).

"Papa," Armow, and Ishnark--better known as "Jerry," or "Jelly," as
they pronounce it--held our hands as if reluctant to let go, and gazing
wistfully into our faces said, "Shoogarme watcheow tukko" (I hope by
and by to see you). It is impossible to translate exactly their meaning
in this short sentence, but it is more as if they would say, "Surely it
seems impossible that we shall never see you again."

That they were in earnest in the expression of their grief I have every
reason to believe, for they had shown their kindly interest and
affection at a time that if ever one's affection is put to the test
theirs was. They had, so to speak, adopted us as their children. Not
merely had they divided their last morsel of food, but had given to us
and their children, and had gone without themselves. It was merely some
walrus hide that had been saved to make soles for their shoes, but
nevertheless it was literally their last mouthful, and when that was
gone we all went hungry until the long-continued storm abated and an
opportunity was afforded to kill a walrus, which appeased our hunger
for the time being. Is it unnatural that we should absolutely love
these kind friends, or was it a thing to be ashamed of that theirs were
not the only tears that fell at parting? Of all savages--I was going to
say of all people--commend me to these simple-hearted Esquimaux, with
all their dirt and gluttony, for genuine, self-sacrificing hospitality.
As we were being rowed out to the ship by an Inuit crew at ten o'clock
on the night of the 1st of August, our faces were turned toward the
land, where the sky was still brilliant with the light of a gorgeous
sunset. Lieutenant Schwatka sat beside me in the bow of the boat, and
neither of us had spoken since we left the shore, until he turned to me
and said, "I was not prepared for this."

"Prepared for what?" said I.

"I was not prepared to feel the pain of parting from these people and
this country as I feel it now. Even the near prospect of getting back
to civilization, and of meeting friends and hearing news scarcely
ameliorates the pang at this moment. But it will soon be over, I
suppose."

At last we were all on board the ship, and when the men began to weigh
anchor, merrily singing over their work, the three boat-loads of Inuits
put off hastily, though they paddled around the vessel and seemed loath
to depart.

"Where is Toolooah--did he bid you good-by, governor?" said I to
Lieutenant Schwatka.

"No," he replied, "but you can see him here;" and stepping up to the
side of the ship I saw our Toolooah seated in the bow of Armow's boat,
his head bent down and his face buried in his hands.

"I can understand his feelings exactly," said the governor. "He dare
not trust himself to go through the ordeal, poor fellow. He knew he
would break down when it came to that, and I am glad he didn't, for I
am afraid I should too."

Until the morning that we left, it had been confidently expected that
Toolooah and his family, consisting of his wife and two children, would
accompany us to the United States. It had been the great ambition of
his life to visit the wonderful white men's country, and Lieutenant
Schwatka had promised to take him home, provided he could obtain the
consent of the captain of the vessel in which we returned. Captain
Baker had already given his consent, and there seemed nothing to
interfere with their plans. Toolooah and his wife were busy in securing
suitable clothing in which to appear abroad when occasion should arise
for wearing it, and the faithful services he had rendered on our sledge
journey were to be recompensed in the United States, from which he
would take home an outfit that should last as long as he lived. But the
last day we were on shore some of the old men came to Lieutenant
Schwatka, and begged he would not be angry if they said that a long and
anxious consultation had resulted in the conclusion that it would be
running too great a risk for Toolooah to go to the United States. No
man of their tribe had ever been to a civilized country but "Esquimau
Joe," who, by the bye, had also made up his mind to remain in the
Arctic a year or two longer. He had told them of the great mortality
attending those of his people from Cumberland Sound who had gone to
England and America, and they were afraid. I think that Toolooah,
personally, would have willingly encountered the risk; but with these
people, such government as they have is patriarchal, and the young men
submit with the best grace to the decision of their elders. It was a
matter of regret both to Lieutenant Schwatka and myself that we did not
have an opportunity to bestow the attention upon him in our own land
that his constant care for our safety and comfort in his country
entitled him to at our hands.

The anchor soon swung at the bow of the 'George and Mary', and her
yards were squared for Marble Island, where we were to take on board
water for the homeward-bound voyage. Our Inuit friends shouted their
last farewells, and we were actually "en route" home.

Fortunate was it for us that there was a kind-hearted whaler in
Hudson's Bay, or we would have been compelled to spend at least one
more winter in the polar regions. But Captain Baker treated us with the
greatest consideration not only while we were his guests during the
spring at Marble Island, but when we returned to Depot Island he gave
us such provisions from his stores as he could spare, and without this
assistance we would have suffered considerably, for twice again after
our return the natives were entirely without food for several days. But
instead of our starving with them, we were enabled to save these poor
people much suffering by sharing our slender stock with them. We left
the ship in her winter quarters on the 3d of May, and on the 11th
pitched our tent on the highest rock on Depot Island. The natives soon
came from their igloos on the ice about a mile away, and gathered
around us. Whenever they killed a walrus or a seal they brought us some
of the meat, for which we paid them, as usual, with powder, caps, or
lead. But from the 22d of May, when they killed two walrus, until the
7th of June, when the ship hove in sight from her winter quarters, the
weather had been such that they had killed nothing but two small seals.
The consequence was that for several days they were without food, and
our provisions were gone the day before, so that when the ship was seen
we were waiting patiently until the Inuits returned from the pursuit of
some walrus that were seen on the ice, in order to break our fast. It
was not only a joyful sight to see the ship at this time, but an
additional pleasure to note the cloud of thick black smote that hung
over her deck, denoting that they had killed a whale and were boiling
out the blubber. This was good luck for the officers and crew, and
fortunate for us, because the black skin of the whale is exceedingly
palatable and wholesome food, and there would in all probability be
enough of it on board to keep us and our Inuit allies from hunger for a
long time, at least until they could secure food by hunting.

We were pleased to learn that the whalers had killed the only whale
they saw, which augured a successful season for them. It eventually
proved, however, that the augury was delusive, for from that time
forward they did not see another whale, though they cruised the bay
until the 9th of August. Subsequently we learned that the whales had
all gone out of Hudson's Bay through the strait in the early spring,
owing to the entire absence of whale food, which had probably been
destroyed by the intense severity of the winter. The natives living
near North Bluff and Hudson's Strait had seen plenty of whales passing
eastward early in the season, when the ice was still thick, or, as one
of them told me, "when the young seal are born," which is in the latter
part of March and early in April. They had killed three large whales
and struck two others that escaped. We went into North Bay and found
these Inuits encamped on the main-land, about fifteen miles from the
mouth of the bay, and Captain Baker bought from them a head of
whalebone, which they said was at Akkolear, which was still further up
the bay, or strait, as it proved to be.

Mr. Williams, first officer of the 'George and Mary', went with
two boats and some Inuit guides, sailing directly up the bay toward
the north-west until it debouched again upon Hudson's Strait, about
fifty miles above where we were anchored, or about sixty-five miles
north-west of North Bluff. Here he found the whalebone as described by
the natives, and brought it on board after an absence of four days.

The large island, or, in fact, two islands that are thus formed, as
there is another passage into the sea about twenty-five miles north of
North Bluff, are called by the natives "Kigyuektukjuar," in view of
their insular character. Kigyuektuk means island, and especially a
large island, King William Land being thus distinguished by them as the
island. A "small island" is Kigyuektower, and "long island"
Kigyuektukjuar.

The land on the north and east of North Bay is called Queennah, which
means "all right," and was given to it in view of the fact that in
winter it is filled with reindeer, who can go no farther south in their
migration, and spend the winter on the Meta Incognita of Queen
Elizabeth, or the Queennah of the Esquimaux. Akkolear means a narrow
passage or channel, where the land is visible on both sides as you pass
through. The natives we met here are more cleanly in their persons and
dress than any others we saw on the Arctic, but there their superiority
ends. They are most persistent beggars, and indeed require watching, or
they will sometimes steal, a vice to which the Esquimaux as a nation
are little given. I saw two of their women, while sitting in our
cabin, comb their hair without discovering a single specimen of the
genus pediculosum; while, should any one of the other tribes we met
have done the same thing, the result would have been most
overwhelmingly satisfactory. But though they are dirty they will
neither lie nor steal, except in rare instances. The natives of the
north shore of Hudson's Strait were spoken of by the early explorers of
the present century--Parry, Back, and Lyon--as rude, dirty, and
unreliable, and they have not improved much since that day, except in
regard to dirt. They are certainly more cleanly--one good trait they
have learned from association with white people, to counterbalance many
vices thus acquired. But never was I more confounded than when an old
woman, who brought a pair of fine fur stockings to Captain Baker, asked
for a pack of cards in exchange. The captain had brought her to me to
act as interpreter for him, but though the word she used sounded
familiar to me I could not for the life of me remember what it meant in
English until she made motions of dealing cards and said, "Keeng,
kevven, zhak." Then the light burst upon me, but nothing had been
further from my mind than playing-cards as an article of trade.

Three of these women wore calico skirts, but they looked as much out of
place on them as they would on the men, and I came to the conclusion
that it does indeed require some art to look well in a "pinned back."
These women, when their skirts were in the way of climbing up the side
of the vessel, either gathered them up out of the way or took them off
and passed them up separately. Their clothing was complete without this
civilized inconvenience, which had no more to do with their costume
than the buttons on the back of a man's coat.

The temperature in Hudson's Strait was much lower than in the bay, and
we felt the cold intensely. I began to imagine that my acclimatization
had not been complete, until I noticed that the Inuits who came on
board complained of the cold as much as we did. Indeed, I believe that
one feels the cold in an Arctic summer much more disagreeably than in
the winter. The low temperature in the strait is in all probability
attributable to the ice that is constantly there, either local ice or
the pack brought down from Fox Channel by the wind and current. The
great Grinnell Glacier, on Meta Incognita, which Captain Hall estimated
to be one hundred miles in extent, must also have considerable effect
upon the climate. As we passed down toward Resolution Island we could
see this great sea of ice from the deck of the vessel in all its solemn
grandeur, surrounded by lofty peaks clad in their ever-enduring mantles
of snow.

I did not go on shore while our vessel lay at anchor in North Bay, for
I had no anxiety to encounter the mosquitoes which abound there, though
not to the extent that makes life such a burden as upon the eastern
shores of Hudson's Bay. While our water-casks were being filled at
Marble Island in the early part of August, Captain Baker and I went in
one of the ship's boats to the main-land, about fifteen miles to the
south-west, to secure a lot of musk-ox skins and other articles of
trade at a Kinnepatooan encampment there, and though we spent but one
night on shore, I never before endured such torture from so small a
cause as the mosquitoes occasioned us. Indeed, my hands and his for a
month afterward, were swollen and sore from the venom of these
abominable little pests. They are not like civilized mosquitoes, for no
amount of brushing or fanning will keep them away. Their sociability is
unbounded, and you have absolutely to push them off, a handful at a
time, while their places are at once filled by others, the air teeming
with them all the time. The natives keep their tents filled with smoke
from a slow, smouldering fire in the doorway, which is the only plan to
render them habitable at all; but the remedy is only one degree better
than the disease, as Captain Baker remarked to me, with his eyes filled
with tears. The only relief from these torments is a strong breeze from
the water, which carries them away; but even then it is not safe to
seek shelter in the lee of a tent, for there they swarm and are as
vigorous in their attacks as during a calm. The men wear mosquito-net
hoods over their heads and shoulders while in camp or hunting, and
women and children live in the smoke of their smouldering peat fires.

The shores of Hudson's Bay are low and barren, and abound in lakes of
every size and shape. They are too low to produce glaciers, but are
just right for the production of the finest crop of mosquitoes to be
found in the world, as has previously been remarked by Franklin,
Richardson, Back, and, indeed, all the explorers of this territory.
After leaving Marble Island we sailed toward Depot Island, Cape
Fullerton, and Whale Point, so that we might see any other ships that
had come in this season and get some news from them. We found plenty of
ice in Daly Bay and the entrance to Rowe's Welcome, the ice bridge
still extending from near Whale Point to Southampton Island.

On Sunday the 8th of August, while moving slowly through the ice-pack
off Cape Fullerton, we saw a she-bear and cub asleep on a large cake of
ice about a quarter of a mile from the ship, and one of the boats was
lowered to go in pursuit. Lieutenant Schwatka, Mr. Williams, and I went
in the boat, and quite enjoyed the exciting chase. Before the boat was
lowered the bears seemed aware of the presence of danger, and took to
the water, the old one in her motherly anxiety for the safety of her
cub carrying it on her back most of the time. When they found the boat
gaining upon them, and close at hand, they left the water and stood at
bay on a cake of ice. A bullet from Lieutenant Schwatka's rifle broke
the mother's backbone and she dropped, when Mr. Williams gave her the
"coup de grace" with a bullet through her head at close range. We
were quite anxious to capture the little fellow alive, but found it
difficult to kill the mother without wounding him, as he clung to her
poor wounded body with the most touching tenacity. It was heartrending
to see him try to cover her body with his own little form, and lick her
face and wounds, occasionally rising upon his hind legs and growling a
fierce warning to his enemies. At this juncture Lieutenant Schwatka got
out upon the ice, and, after several ineffectual attempts, at last
succeeded in throwing a rope over the head of the cub, which put him in
a towering passion. Nevertheless he was towed alongside the ship and
hoisted on deck, together with the carcass of his mother, but he never
ceased to growl and rush at every one who approached him. We would
gladly have brought him alive to the United States, for he was a
handsome little rascal, but the vessel was small and devoid of
conveniences for that purpose; so the captain ordered him killed, and
his fate was, consequently, sealed with a bullet from Mr. Williams's
pistol.

We met the whaler 'Isabella' in Fisher's Strait, and the 'Abbott
Lawrence' near Charles Island, and from both got some later news, but no
letters from either. We learned from them that the 'Abby Bradford' had
gone in already, and must have passed us in Fisher's Strait the day
before we met the 'Isabella', in a thick fog that prevailed. We were
sorry not to have met the 'Abby Bradford' also, for we felt pretty
certain that she must have letters for us; but it seemed scarcely worth
while to go back in search of her. The 'Isabella' and 'Abby Bradford'
had been in company for twenty-seven days from Resolution Island to
Nottingham Island, surrounded by ice all the time and narrowly escaping
destruction. The 'Isabella' was carried by the current right upon a
large iceberg, which would most certainly have wrecked the vessel; but,
when just about to strike, the eddy swept them around and past the berg,
though they had entirely lost control of the ship. They were both
"nipped" by the ice several times, and on one of these occasions the
'Abby Bradford' suffered such a severe strain that her timbers creaked
and groaned terribly, and her deck planks were bowed up. So imminent did
their peril appear that the boats and provisions were got out upon the
ice preparatory to abandoning the vessel, when, just as it seemed as if
she must succumb, the pressure was relaxed and the crew returned to
their ship. We had head winds before reaching Resolution Island, but
after passing Cape Best the winds were fair, and we made a fine run of
six days to the latitude of St. John, N. F. We saw a brig off Hamilton
Inlet, evidently trying to beat into that harbor; but saw no more
vessels until the 2d of September, when we saw a heavily laden bark
some distance ahead of us making toward the west. We changed our course
so as to endeavor to head her off, but though we gained upon her
considerably, could not overtake her before dark. On the 3d we saw a
number of vessels, including one steamer, all, except one large
merchantman, bound eastward.

A little humpback whale that came playing around our ship, as if trying
to get a harpoon in him, prevented our heading off the steamer and
getting some late papers. But as soon as a boat was lowered into the
water the fishy representative of King Richard thought it began to look
too much like business at this time, and hastened off to look for his
mother. We saw quite a large school of humpbacks during the same
afternoon, but there was too much wind, with the near prospect of a
gale, to render it worth while to hunt them. We had some pretty heavy
blows on our way home, and on the last day of August we were struck by
a squall that gave us a very good idea of what a gale would be like
should it have continued for a day or two; but within twenty minutes of
the time it struck us it had passed off, the sun was shining brightly,
and we were making sail again, with nothing to indicate what had just
taken place save a few barrels of immense hailstones that still covered
the deck like so much coarse salt and a chilliness in the atmosphere
that made you shiver in spite of yourself. It was fearful, though,
while it lasted; the lightning and thunder crashes were almost
synchronous, indicating a most unpleasant proximity. Since the night of
the 2d of September we had been cut off by southwest winds and
enveloped with fogs of varying density. Everything on deck was as wet
as if a heavy rain-storm had just passed over, and great drops of water
kept dropping from the sails and rigging, making it very unpleasant to
venture beyond the cabin.

During the morning of the 7th the fog lifted a little and showed us
three fishing-smacks anchored about a mile away, and we directed our
course toward them, with the hope of getting some fresh fish as well as
some fresh news. Mr. Gilbert, second officer of the 'George and
Mary', took me in his boat on board the schooner 'Gertrude', of
Provincetown, Mass., whose master, Captain John Dillon, extended a
hearty welcome. In answer to our first question he told us who were the
Presidential candidates. Captain Dillon prevailed upon me to recount
some of the incidents of our sledge journey. He seemed very much
interested in the recital, brief as it necessarily was, and hospitably
pressed us to dine with him, as it was just about his dinner hour.
Desiring to impress upon his steward the importance of his guests he
said:--"Steward, it is a great treat to see these gentlemen. You ought
to take a good look at them. They have had one of the toughest times
you ever heard of. They have just come down from--where?" (aside to
me). "King William's Land," said I, scarcely able to retain my
composure. "King William's Land," he repeated, "and were looking for
Franklin." The doubt in his mind as to who this mythical "Franklin" was
seeming to add much to the interest that invested us.

We had a substantial meal of fried haddock, which was particularly
enjoyable, in the absence of fresh meat on board our ship since the
reindeer meat was exhausted. In the laudable pursuit of information I
felt interested in seeing how they lived on board these fishing
schooners, and had accepted the kind invitation to dinner as much on
that account as for the sake of the fresh fish I anticipated. I saw
that the cabin was too small to accommodate a dining-table, but had
four very wide bunks in it, one of which was the captain's, and the
others occupied by two men each. There is not the same amount of
discipline on board these vessels, which are out for so short a time,
as upon merchantmen or whalers, and all hands eat at the same table. We
found the feast spread in the forecastle, which was also used as the
galley, and was consequently oppressively warm to us from the north, in
this thick, sultry weather. On each side of the forecastle I observed
three large bunks, each of which accommodated at least two men. This
was their second voyage this summer, they having been fortunate enough
to fill up before their first three months had expired. The crews are
usually shipped for three months, and receive about $50 compensation
for the voyage. If they get full before the time is up, that is their
gain. Sometimes, however, they have an interest in the voyage the same
as whalers, but usually, I understand, are paid from $40 to $75 for a
season, which means three months unless sooner filled. The men do not
fish from the deck of the vessel, but from little flat-bottomed dories,
each man paddling his own boat and changing its location to suit his
whim. When brought on board the vessel the fish are immediately
cleaned, split open and salted right down in the hold, without the
formality of putting them in barrels or casks. After they are landed on
shore they are dried and assorted according to size and sold by the
quintal of 112 pounds, though 100 pounds is estimated as a quintal from
the hold of the smack. The 'Gertrude' had already 175 quintals on
her second cargo the day we were on board, but the captain seemed much
more desirous of hearing of our strange adventures than of imparting
the information that I sought. He appeared much impressed with the
circumstance that we were "worth looking at," as he said, and dwelt
much upon the fact that this summer was a good season for him to see
strange things.

"On my first voyage this summer," said he, "that little dory, thirteen
and a half feet long, in which two young men are going around the
world, came alongside my vessel, and I gave them some water and lucky
cake, and now I meet you gentlemen from--where?" (addressing me). "King
William's Land," said I. "Oh, yes, King William's Land. Let me have
some fish put into your boat before you go." And the kind-hearted
fisherman gave us about a barrel of fine fresh cod and haddock, besides
a fifty-fathom line and some hooks. He also gave us three late
newspapers; and we sent him in return a copy of Hall's "Life Among the
Esquimaux," and some other reading matter, besides a pair of sealskin
slippers, and a fine walrus skull with the ivory tusks in it. This was
a present from Mr. Gilbert. Just as we were about leaving I turned to
Mr. Gilbert and said, "The Governor will be glad to hear the news."

"What!" said the surprised skipper, "have you got a real Governor on
board?" And then I had to explain that it was merely a title we had
bestowed upon Lieutenant Schwatka in view of the faithful care he took
of his people, though, I believe, the youngest in the party. The
incident was only amusing as showing that the captain had heard so
many strange things this morning that he was prepared to believe
anything, no matter how absurd it might appear.

The day following our visit to the fishing schooner was still foggy and
without a breath of wind stirring. We therefore availed ourselves of
the opportunity to use our fish-lines, and succeeded in securing about
fifty fine cod and haddock, besides one huge dogfish, which snapped
ferociously when hauled into the boat, and had to be despatched with a
boat-hook. We experienced considerable squally weather about the middle
of September, interspersed with head winds and calms. On the 15th there
were several vessels in sight, and a large iron bark came so near that
we concluded to send aboard for newspapers. The waist boat was cleared
away and the second mate started to intercept the stranger, but
scarcely had the boat been lowered into the water when a squall came up
and the sea became very rugged, so that in passing to the leeward of
the bark, though he shouted out that it was only papers that he wanted,
the captain did not hear him, and luffed up into the wind to deaden his
headway. But even then the bark drifted ahead so rapidly that it was
hard work for our boat to catch it by rowing in such a heavy sea. The
stranger then lowered his top-gallant sails and hauled his foreyards
aback, and in about twenty-five minutes Mr. Gilbert was alongside. He
sprang lightly up the side of the big vessel, and, standing before the
captain, with all the characteristic politeness of the French people,
presented Captain Baker's compliments and asked for some late papers.
The captain of the bark was a splendid old Scotchman who had grown gray
battling with stormy seas for many years. But when he found out that
all we wanted was newspapers, he was so completely overpowered with
surprise that all he could say was, "Well--I'll--be--blanked." This he
kept repeating all the way to his cabin as he went to gather some late
copies of the 'New York Herald'. When he again came upon deck he
had recovered his accustomed composure, and asked where we were from
and where bound. He said his vessel was the bark 'Selkirkshire',
of Glasgow, from New York the night of the 12th inst., and then turning
again to Mr. Gilbert said, "And is that all you wanted? And a fair
wind? Why, man, you'll be home to-night. Well--I'll--be--blanked."
Never before in all his experience had he known a vessel within two or
three days' sail of home, with a fair wind, take so much trouble to
stop another merely for the purpose of getting some newspapers. It was
rather "a stunner," that is a fact, but at the same time was
unintentional. The squall came up after our boat was lowered and
prevented Mr. Gilbert doing what he had intended, which was merely to
go alongside, get a few papers thrown overboard and drop back, without
causing more than five minutes' detention, if any. But the wind
prevented their hearing him, when he shouted to them that he only
wanted papers, and for them to go ahead, as they missed getting close
enough when they passed; so when he saw them taking so much trouble to
stop he felt it his duty to pull up and explain on board. Captain
Anderson, of the 'Selkirkshire', recovered his equanimity
sufficiently to send his best respects to Captain Baker, with the very
welcome papers--fresh for us, as there were some as late as the
'Herald' of the Saturday previous. I have no doubt, though, that
every time he recalls the episode on his voyage to England he will say
to himself, "Well, I'll be----"

Saturday, the 18th, we were becalmed on the George's Bank, about a
quarter of a mile from another large bark, bound the same way as we
were; and as it is so excessively monotonous at sea, especially in a
calm, and knowing that we could not be causing any delay this time, we
lowered a boat, and Captain Baker, Lieutenant Schwatka and I paid a
visit to Captain Kelly, of the bark 'Thomas Cochrane', of St.
John, N. B., fifty-seven days from Gloucester, England, bound for New
York. We found Captain Kelly a genial, whole-souled sailor, who
received us very cordially, and three hours slipped away most
pleasantly in his society. He had his family on board, and said he
would have been exceedingly comfortable had he not run short of
provisions in such an exceptionally long voyage between the two ports.
On the Banks of Newfoundland he had encountered a Norwegian bark loaded
with grain, to which he sent a boat with an explanation of his
necessities. The captain returned word that he was short himself, but
sent a bag of wheat, which he remarked would sustain their lives for
some time. Captain Kelly received the wheat graciously, and the next
day met an old friend, who sent him stores sufficient to carry him
home. Captain Baker told him he could supply him with ship's stores if
he desired it, but he said he was all right now and did not require
further assistance.

Tuesday noon, "Land, ho!" was shouted from the masthead, and soon the
low, white shore of Nantucket was plainly visible. A strong head wind
kept us out until Wednesday morning, when we took on board a pilot, and
before night were ashore in New Bedford. During the entire trip Captain
Baker had done everything in his power to promote the comfort of his
passengers, and earned for himself their lasting gratitude.




CHAPTER XVII.

THE GRAVES OF THE EXPLORERS.


I will briefly bring this record to a conclusion. The map that
accompanies it will give the reader an opportunity to more clearly
understand the nature of the search conducted by Lieutenant Schwatka
over the route of the retreating crews of the 'Erebus' and
'Terror', and by it he can also trace the sledge journey to and
from King William Land as well as the preliminary sledge journeys in
the winter of 1878 and 1879. The location of each spot where skeletons
of the brave fellows were found is marked, and everywhere cenotaphs
were erected to their memory. Owing to the length of time that has
elapsed since this sad event, it was not always possible to tell the
exact number of individuals represented in a pile of bones that we
would gather sometimes from an area of nearly a half mile. The
skeletons were always incomplete. Sometimes nothing but a skull could
be found in the vicinity of a grave, and, again, often the skull would
be missing. At one place we could distinguish four right femurs, and
could therefore be positive that at least four perished here. This was
at the boat place marked on Erebus Bay.

A number of natives whom we interviewed in the Netchillik country
asserted most positively that there were two boat places in Erebus Bay,
about a quarter of a mile apart; and Captain C. F. Hall obtained the
same information while at Shepherd's Bay, in 1869. We therefore made a
most careful search for another, after finding the first wreck of a
boat at that portion of the coast, but without success. It seemed to us
quite important to establish so interesting a fact, but nevertheless
the effort was fruitless. We obtained from the natives wooden
implements which were made from fragments of each boat, but the wood
from one must have been entirely removed previous to our visit. Whether
or not this is the same boat seen by McClintock is a matter that can be
ascertained, for we have brought home the prow containing the
inscription spoken of by him. He, however, saw portions of but two
skeletons, while the collection of bones buried by us here were
distinctly of four persons.

North of Collinsen Inlet we found but one grave--that of Lieutenant
Irving. We, however visited the sites of several cairns, whose
positions are marked upon the map. Although the route to and from Cape
Felix is marked by a single line only, it should be remembered that our
search extended inland so as to make a broad sweep about five miles
from the coast. The point marked as the grave of an officer, between
Franklin Point and Erebus Bay, is one of especial interest. The care
with which the grave had originally been made seems to indicate the
popularity of the individual and that the survivors had not yet
exhausted their strength to such a degree as to be the cause of
neglect. In fact, there were no evidences anywhere that they had ever
neglected showing marked respect to the remains of those of their
comrades who perished by their side; but, on the contrary, it is
probable that all who died on the march were decently interred. A very
significant fact in this connection is recognizable in the appearance
of a grave which had been opened by the Esquimaux near Tallock Point.
It was made of small stones, while larger and more appropriate abounded
in the vicinity, showing the reduced physical condition of the party at
the time. It was, indeed, a most touching indication of their devotion
to each other under these most adverse circumstances that the grave had
been made at all. The graves east of this point presented the same
general appearance. This might be considered as an evidence that the
boat in Erebus Bay had drifted in after the breaking up of the ice
there, while these poor fellows were on their way back to the ships in
search of food now known to have been there. It is not likely that the
sick or dead would have been deserted by their comrades unless in the
direst extremity.

The point marked as the location of the hospital tent is the place
spoken of by Ahlangyah, where so many dead bodies were seen by her
party after they had spent the summer on King William's Land in
consequence of failing to get across Simpson Strait before the ice
broke up. Where she met the starving explorers is also indicated. On
the mainland the place is marked where the old Ookjoolik Esquimau saw
the footprints of the last survivors of the 'Erebus' and
'Terror' in the spring snows of the year 1849. Also, near by is
where he and his friends unwittingly scuttled the Northwest Passage
ship--the Dangerous Rapids near the mouth of Back's River, the home of
the Ooqueesiksillik Esquimaux, and the spot where we loaded our sleds
with provisions on our way home. The route down Back's River, as we
found its course, is put down, while dotted lines show how it is
mapped on the Admiralty charts. It is not discreditable to Back's
survey that an error should be made in tracing the course of the river,
for it is probable that bad weather hid the sun from his observation at
that portion of the river where he could travel very swiftly; while
upon our return trip we were moving along this river by stages of not
more than from five to nine miles a day. Our course up the river could
not have been toward the southwest when we saw the sun rise to the
right of our line of march almost daily. The place where the records
were destroyed may be seen to the west of Point Richardson.

Among the most important relics of the expedition are two medals. The
larger one, found at Lieutenant Irving's grave, is of solid silver; and
the neat, cleanly cut edges which are as sharp to-day as if just from
the die, indicate the value placed upon it and the care taken of it by
its owner. It was buried with his remains at a spot about four miles
below Victory Point, on King William's Land, and evidently remained
undisturbed until the grave was found by Esquimaux who visited the
vicinity some time after McClintock's search, more than twenty years
ago. From its position when found by Lieutenant Schwatka it would
appear that it had been taken out of the grave by the natives and laid
upon one of the stones forming the wall of the tomb while they were
seeking for further plunder, and was subsequently overlooked by them.
The remains which were thus identified were sent to grateful relations
in Scotland, and buried with due honor in a graveyard of Lieutenant
Irving's native town.

The other medal, which was found at Starvation Cove, is of pewter, and
may be described as a token commemorative of the launch of the
steamship 'Great Britain', by Prince Albert, in July, 1843. The
obverse bears a portrait of His Royal Highness, around it inscribed the
words:--

    PRINCE ALBERT, BORN AUGUST 26, 1819.

The inscription on the reverse reads as follows:--

            THE GREAT BRITAIN.
    LENGTH 322 ft; BREADTH 50 ft. 6 in.
            DEPTH, 32 ft. 6 in.
        WEIGHT OF IRON, 1,500 TONS.
            1,000 HORSE POWER.
            LAUNCHED, JULY 19,
                  1843,
        by H. R. H. PRINCE ALBERT.

The vessel was built entirely of iron, and was the largest ever
constructed at the time of the launch. On that occasion a great banquet
was given, and one of the guests carried away the medal, which was
destined to be found so many thousand miles away.

Lieutenant Irving's remains were the only ones that could be
sufficiently identified to warrant their removal. Had there been others
we would have brought them away.

It was a beautiful though saddening spectacle that met our eyes at the
only grave upon King William's Land, where the dead had been buried
beneath the surface of the ground. Near Point le Vesconte some
scattered human bones led to the discovery of the tomb of an officer
who had received most careful sepulture at the hands of his surviving
friends. A little hillock of sand and gravel--a most rare occurrence
upon that forbidding island of clay-stones--afforded an opportunity for
Christian-like interment. The dirt had been neatly rounded up, as could
be plainly seen, though it had been torn open and robbed by the
sacrilegious hands of the savages; and everywhere, amid the debris and
mould of the grave, the little wild flowers were thickly spread as if
to hide the desecration of unfriendly hands. The fine texture of the
cloth and linen and several gilt buttons showed the deceased to have
been an officer, but there was nothing to be seen anywhere that would
identify the remains to a stranger. Every stone that marked the outline
of the tomb was closely scrutinized for a name or initials, but nothing
was found. After reinterring the remains, which were gathered together
from an area of a quarter of a mile, and erecting a monument,
Lieutenant Schwatka plucked a handful of flowers, which he made into a
little bouquet, and brought home with him as a memento.




INDEX.

A.

Abbott Lawrence, The
Adelaide, Peninsula
Adlekok
Admiralty, British
Agloocar
Ahlangyah
Akkolear
"Albert, Prince"
Albert H. R. H. Prince
America, United States of
American Geographical Society
Amitigoke
Anderson, Captain
Anookjook
"Ansel Gibbs, The"
Armow
Arctic
Asia, Northern-Eastern

B.

Back's River
Back's Great Fish RiverBack, Lieut.
Baker, Captain
Banks of Newfoundland
Barry, Capt. Thos. F.
Barry's Rock
Bay, Baffin's
Bay, Cockburn
Baffin's Bay
Bay, Chesapeake
Bay, Daly
Bay, Erebus
Bay, Hudson
Bay, Irving
Bay, North
Bay, Pelly
Bay, Repulse
Bay, Shepherds
Bay, Terror
Bay, Wall
Bay, Washington
Bay, Wilmot
Beechy Island
Bellot Strait
Best, Cape
Big Lake, The
Blucher
Boothia, Gulf of
Boothia, Isthmus
"Bradford, The Abbie"
Bristol
Brevoort, Lake
Brevoort, Jas. Carson
British Admiralty
Brooklyn
Brown, Morrison &
Button Island

C.

Camp Daly
Camp, Kinnepatoo, The
Cape Best
Cape Crozier
Cape Felix
Cape Fullerton
Cape Herschel
Cape Jane Franklin
Cape Maria Louisa
Cape Sidney
Channel, Fox
Channel, Wellington
Charles Island
Chesapeake Bay
Castor & Pollux, river
Chesterfield Inlet
"Cockeye"
Cockburn Bay
Collinson Inlet
Connery River
Connery, Thomas B.
Constantinus, Captain
Conwe-churgk
Conweehungh
Cornwallis Island
Coston
Cove, Starvation
Cove, Thunder
"Cow-e-sil-lik, Fish"
Craycroft, Miss
Crozier, Capt. F. M.
Crozier McClintock
"Crozier Record," The
Crozier, Cape
Cumberland
Cumberland Sound

D.

Daly Bay
Daly, Camp
Daly, Judge, C. P.
Daly, Mrs. Maria
Dangerous Rapids, The
Deadmen's Island
Dease and Simpson
Depot Island
Des V----, Chas. F.
Diggers, The
Dillon, John, Captain
"Doctor, The"
Doktook (Doctor)
"Domino"
Duryea, Gen'l Hiram

E.

Ebierbing, Joseph (See "Esquimau Joe")
Eclipse Sound
Eeglee-leock
Ekeeseek
England
Ephemeris
Equeesik
Eothen, The
Erebus, The
Erebus Bay
Eve-too
Eyertoo
Esquimau Joe
Esquimau Sampson
Expedition, Franklin

F.

Felix, Cape
Fisher, Captain
Fisher's Straits
Fitz-James, James, Captain
Fletcher, The
Fox Channel
"Fox," The (see Melms)
Frank
Franklin, Jane, Cape
Franklin, Lady
Franklin
Franklin Expedition
Franklin, Sir John
Franklin Point
"Franklin Records," The
Franklin Relics
Franklin Spoon
Franklin Arctic Search Party
Franklin Stoves
Fullerton, Cape

G.

Garvin, Capt.
Geographical Society
"George and Mary," The
George's Bank
"Gertrude," The
Gilbert, Mr.
Gilder, W. H.
"Gibbs, The Ansel,"
"Glacier," The
Glacier, Grinnell
Glasgow
Gloucester
Gladman Point
Glen Cove
Goldner's Patent
Gore, Graham,
Gore, Commander
Grant Point
Great Fish River
"Great Britain," The
Great Britain
Greenhithe, Kent
Greenland, Dogs
Greenwich
Grinnell Glacier

H.

Hall, Captain C. F.
Hamilton Inlet
Harris's River
Hayes, R. B.
Hayes River
Hayes, Dr. I. I.
Hayes, Captain
Hazard Hills
Henry (see Klutschak)
"Herald, The New York"
Herschel, Cape
Hills, Hazard
Hobson, William R., Lieut.
"Houghton, The A."
Hudson's Bay
Hudson Bay, North
Hudson Bay Company
Hudson Strait

I.

Igloolik
Ikianelikpatolok
Ik-omer
"Independence Day"
Inlet, Chesterfield
Inlet, Collinson
Inlet, Hamilton
Inlet, Sherman
Innokpizookzook
Institute, Smithsonian
Inuit
Inuits
Inuit Camp, The
Invich River
Irving, Lieutenant John
Irving Bay
"Isabella," The
Ishnark
Ishnach
"Ish-n-mat-tah," The
Island, Beechy
Island, Charles
Island, Cornwallis
Island, Depot
Island, Marble
Island, Matty
Island, Montreal
Island, Nottingham
Island, Resolution
Island, Southampton
Islands, Todd
Issebluet
Isthmus, Boothia
Iteguark
Iwillie
Iwillik, Esquimaux
Iwillichs
"Iviek Seleko"

J.

"Jerry"
"Jim"
"Joe, Esquimau" (see Ebierbing),
"Joe," Natchilli

K.

Karleko
Kelly, Captain
Kendall, Cape
Kig-muk-too
Kigynektower
Kigynektuk
Kioddelliks
King William Land
Kinnepatoos
Kinnepatoo Camp, The
Kinnepatoo Village
Klutschak, Henry (see "Henry")
Kodlunars
Koomana
Koo-pah
Koumania
Koumawa's
Kutcheenwark
Kyack (Mrs).

L.

Lake McDougal
Lathe, Charles A.
"Lawrence, The Abbott"
Le Vesconte, Point
Little, Point
Little Rabbit Island
Lorillard
Lorillard River
Lower Savage Island
Lower Savage Islands
Lyon

M.

"Mu-muk-poo-ama-suet-suk-o" (plenty good to see)
Maria Louisa, Cape
Marble Island
Massachusetts
Matty Island
May, H.
McClintock-Crozier
McClintock, Sir Leopold
McDougall, Lake
Mitcolelee
Meadowbank, Mount
Melms, Frank E. (see "Frank")
Melville Sound
Melville Peninsula
Meta Incognita
Middle Savage Island
Mit-colelee
"Molasses"
"Monkey"
Montreal Island
Morrison & Brown
Mount Meadowbank
Mozier, Captain

N.

Nanook
Nantucket
Narleyow
Neepshark
Netchillik
Netchilliks
Netchillik, Arn-ket-ko, The
Netchillik Joe
Netchillik Women
Netchuk
New Bedford
Newfoundland, Banks of
New Jersey
New York
North America
North Bay
North Bluff
North Hudson Bay
North-eastern Asia
North-west Passage
Nottingham Island
Nu-lee-aug-ar
Nu-oo-tar-ro
Nu-tar-ge-ark

O.

Ockarnawole
Ogzenckjenwock
Okbillegeok
Ookjoolik
Ookwolik Esquimaux
Ooquee-sik-sillicks
Ooping
Owanork
Oxeomadiddlee
Oyle Point
O-yook

P.

"Papa,"
"Pandora," The
Parry, Captain
Pevwat
Petrilark
Petty Bay
Picciulok
Peninsula, Adelaide
Peninsula, Melville
Pfeffer River
Point, Franklin
Point, Grant
Point, Gladman
Point Le Vesconte
Point Little
Point, Oyle
Point Richardson
Point, Seaforth
Point, Smith
Point, Tulloch
Point Whale
Point, Victory
Potter, Captain
Pooyetah
"Prince Albert"
Prince Albert, H. R. H.
Provincetown, Mass.
Punnie

Q.

Queennah
Queen Elizabeth

R.

Rabbit Island, Little
Rapids, Dangerous, The
Rae, Dr., his expedition
"Record, Crozier, The"
Reef, Trainor's
Repulse Bay
Resolution Island
Richardson Point
Richardson
River, Back's
River, Back's Great Fish
River, Castor & Pollux
River, Connery
River, Great Fish
River, Harris's
River, Hayes's
River, Lorrillard
River, Pfeffer
River, Wager
Rock, Barry's
"Ross, The A. J."
Ross, Sir James
Rowe's Welcome
Roxy

S.

Saddle Rock Island
Salisbury Islands
"Sam"
Schwatka, Lieut. Fred'k.
Scotland
Seaforth Point
Sebeucktolee
Seenteetuar
Sekoselar
"Selkirshire," The
Shepherd's Bay
Sherman, General
Sherman Inlet
Shok-pe-nark
Sidney, Cape
Simpson, Dease and Strait
Sinclair, Capt.
Sinuksook
Swansea
Smithsonian Institute
Smith Point
Smith Sound
Sound, Cumberland
Sound, Eclipse
Sound, Melville
Southampton Island
South Street
Spoon, Franklin
Starvation Cove
St. John, N. B.
St. Johns, Newfoundland
Strait, Bellot
Strait, Hudson
Strait, Simpson
Strait, Victoria
Straits, Fisher

T.

"Taylor, Alex."
Taft, The Oray
Terror Bay
Terror, The
Terre-ah-ne-ak
Te-Wort
"Thomas Cochrane, The"
Thunder Cove
Tling-yack-quark
Tockoleegeetais
Todd Islands
Toekelegeto
Tooktoocher
Too-goo-lan
Toolooah
Toogoolar
Toolooahelek
Tos-ard-e-roak
Trainor's Reef
Tsedluk
Tulloch Point

U.

United States

V.

Vernoi, George
Victoria Strait
Victoria Point
Village, Esquimau
Village, Kinnepatoo

W.

Wager River
Wall Bay
Washington Bay
Welcome, Rowe's
Wellington Channel
Whale Point
Wheatley, R.
Wilks, H.
Williams, Mr.
Wilmot Bay
Winchester Inlet




APPENDIX.

INUIT PHILOLOGY.


Perhaps no branch of Arctic research is of more interest to the scholar
than the language of the people who inhabit that region. A careful
comparison of the dialect of the different tribes is of great value in
ascertaining their history, the origin of the race and the gradual
extension of their journeyings to the remotest point from their native
land yet reached by them. It is generally admitted that the North
American Esquimaux are of Mongolian extraction; that at some period the
passage of Behring Strait was affected and the immigrants gradually
extended their migration to the eastward and finally occupied
Greenland, where the mighty ocean headed them off and brought their
wanderings in that direction to an abrupt termination. During what
period of the world's history the exodus from Asia occurred is not
known. There are those who believe it to have taken place when what is
now known as Behring Strait was an isthmus, the shallowness of the
water throughout that channel indicating the physical change to have
been of comparitively recent date. This opinion was upheld by Lutke in
his "Voyage Autour du Monde," vol. 2, page 209, and Whymper, in his
work upon Alaska, page 94, alludes to the shallowness of Behring Strait
and also of the sea so named, as permitting the whalers to ride at
anchor in their deepest parts. Peschel in "Races of Man", page 401,
prefers to believe that the transfer was made while Behring Strait
still held its present character.

There are not wanting authorities who seek to show that the entire
Western Continent was thus peopled by immigration from Asia, and
similarity of feature with the Mongolian is traced even to the most
southern tribes of South America. The close connection between the
"medicine men" of the Indians, the arng-ke-kos of the Esquimaux, and
the shamans of Siberia and Brazil, are also quoted to show the
probability of one origin. It is, however, in the language of the
hyperborean races of America and Asia that the strongest proofs of a
like origin is found. The Tshuktshi of Northern Asia, the Esquimaux of
America, and the Namollo, all bear a very close relationship,
especially in linguistic characteristics.

In common with all the aboriginal languages of America, the Esquimaux
language is agglutinative, though, for the accommodation of the white
strangers who visit their shores, they separate the words and use them
in a single and simple form. In its purity it employs suffixes only for
the definition and meaning, though complex sentences are often formed
of a single word--that is, it is a polysynthetic in character. No
philologist familiar with the whole territory has ever made a
comparison of the dialects of the polar tribes, probably because no
philologist is familiar with all the dialects spoken there. Everything
therefore that would tend to throw any light upon the subject or to
place before the scholar material by which to prosecute such
philological studies must be regarded as of importance.

The long residence of the Danes in Greenland and their intermarrying
with the native Esquimaux, has led to a more thorough acquaintance with
the language of the aborigines of that continent, than any other
portion of the polar regions. In fact, as long ago as 1804 a complete
dictionary of the Greenland tongue was published by Otho Fabricius, the
translation being in the Danish language. With the exception of a few
fragmentary vocabularies, this is the only work upon which the
traveller or the student of the languages of the Polar regions can
depend.

Mr. Ivan Petroff, the Alaskan traveller, has taken some pains to
compile a vocabulary of the various dialects of the Pacific races with
whom he has sojourned, which, when published, will form another link in
the chain by which the scholar may trace the spread of the Asiatic
tribes along the northern seaboard of America. With the publication of
the subjoined vocabulary, in continuation of the philology of the
central or Iwillik tribes, the chain may be considered complete.

With these people many of the familiar sounds of the civilized
languages are found, as, for instance, the child's first words,
an-an-na (mother), ah-dad-ah (father), ah-mam-mah (the mother's breast),
ah-pa-pah (little piece of meat, either raw or cooked). Then there
is the very natural expression for pain or sickness--ah-ah. Many
words seem to indicate the meaning by imitating the action or sound
to be described, as the motion of the kittewake when it swoops down
toward you with its petulant cry, is well described by the word
e-sow'-ook-suck'-too and the vibratory motion of a swinging pendulum
by ow-look-a-tak'-took.

The superlative degree is expressed by the suffix adelo--as amasuet
(plenty) and amasuadelo (an immense number); also tapsummary (long ago)
and tapsumaneadelo (a very long time ago). Examples could be
multiplied, but are not necessary. The suffix aloo has somewhat of a
similar meaning, or as "Esquimau Joe" translated, it signifies "a big
thing;" thus, ivick (walrus), ivicaloo (a big walrus); shoongowyer
(beads), shoongowyaloo (big beads), etc. Persons are named usually
after some animate or inanimate object, and in repeating to you their
own or some one else's name they usually affix the word aloo, as
ishuark is a black salmon and also a man's name, but in mentioning the
name they always say Ishuark-aloo, though such ceremony is not indulged
in on ordinary occasions.

Igeark-too signifies spectacles, and because Lieutenant Schwatka always
wore eye-glasses he was known to the natives as Igeark-too-aloo. His
companion, the 'Herald' correspondent, was known by a less
dignified appellation. A similarity between his name, as they
pronounced it, and the English word "mosquito,"--or, as they called it
"missergeeter"--led them to distinguish him by the Innuit name for
that little pest, keektoeyak-aloo--as "Joe" would translate it "a big
mosquito." They make no distinction in gender, often the same name
being applied to men and women. There were a man and a woman at Depot
Island each named Shiksik (ground squirrel), and you had to distinguish
which one you intended when you spoke of either.

They seldom take the trouble to make explanations, and a singular
mistake occurred once at Depot Island in that way. On one of the small
islands, near the mainland and Hudson Bay, Lieutenant Schwatka saw, in
the fall of 1878, a very fine looking dog, called E-luck-e-nuk, and
asked its owner's name. He was informed that it belonged to Shiksik,
and, as the old woman of that name was in the camp and he knew of none
other, he offered to buy it from her for his dog team. She consented to
the proposed transfer very readily, and said it was a very fine dog
indeed, she had no doubt it would give entire satisfaction. Some time
during the winter, after the hunters had all returned from the reindeer
country, a little old man offered to sell Lieutenant Schwatka a very
fine large dog for one pound of powder and a box of caps, and, when
requested to produce his dog, brought in E-luck-e-nuk. The Lieutenant
recognized the animal at once by a broken ear and a loose-jointed tail,
and, smiling graciously, told the would-be dog seller that the dog
already belonged to him by purchase from Shiksik for a similar price,
to her in hand paid about six weeks prior to the present occasion. The
old man did not seem to understand the matter very clearly and went out
for an interpreter, whom he found in "Esquimau Joe." The latter then
stated that the dog in question belonged to the person then present,
and when Lieutenant Schwatka indignantly asserted that every one in
camp declared the dog belonged to Shiksik at the time of purchase, Joe
remarked, "At's all right; he name Shiksik, too." As an example of the
simplicity of the Innuit character, it should be remarked that when the
purchase was originally made, all the people looked complacently and
admiringly on without a word of explanation, though they well knew the
mistake, merely remarking the unexampled generosity of Igeark-too-aloo.
Under such adverse circumstances does the barterer ply his traffic with
the Esquimaux.

It is exceedingly difficult to secure a good interpreter among these
people. Even "Esquimau Joe," who travelled so long with Captain Hall,
and lived so many years in the United States and England, had but an
imperfect knowledge of the English language, though he had been
conversant with it almost from infancy. There was, however, at Depot
Island, a Kinnepatoo Innuit, who came there from Fort York in the fall
of 1878, who spoke the English language like a native--that is to say,
like an uneducated native. He would prove almost invaluable as an
interpreter for any expedition that expected to come much in contact
with the Esquimaux, as all their dialects were understood by him. His
father had spoken English and was Dr. Rae's interpreter upon many of
his Arctic journeys. This young man had also accompanied that veteran
explorer upon his voyage up the Quoich River, and from Repulse Bay to
Boothia, at the time he ascertained the fate of the Franklin
expedition. In translating from the English to the Innuit language he
usually employed the Kennepatoo, his native dialect, which at first was
quite confusing, the accentuation of the words being so peculiar to one
familiar with the Iwillik tongue only. From him much information
concerning the language was derived, and through him one who would give
careful consideration could secure much valuable matter, especially
concerning the structure of the language.

In one instance, at least, the Innuit language has an advantage
over the French. They have a word for "home." You ask an Innuit,
Na-moon'? or Na-moon,-oct-pick (Where are you going?) and he may
reply, Oo-op-tee'-nar (Home--that is, to my igloo, or my tent, as
the case may be). There is an expression that sounds familiar to ears
accustomed to the English tongue, but which has another meaning in
their language--Ah-me or ar-my'. This is not an exclamation of regret,
but simply means, "I do not know."

In the higher latitudes sounds are conveyed to a long distance, owing
partially to the peculiar properties of the atmosphere, the comparative
evenness of the surface and to the absence of other confusing sounds,
for under other conditions they would not be transmitted to any unusual
distance. It used to be the custom in the early summer of 1880 for
those who had been hunting upon the mainland to come to a point on the
shore nearest the Depot Island and to call for the boat to be sent to
ferry them over. This nearest point was by triangulation two miles and
a half distant. When, however, the distance would be too great for
conversation, or the wind would be in the wrong direction, a few
signals were used that could be distinguished a great way off. The
signal to "come here" is given by standing with your face toward the
party with whom you desire to communicate and then raising your right
arm to the right and moving it up and down like a pump handle. The
effect can be increased by holding a gun or your hat or anything that
can be seen at a greater distance in the moving hand. The signal "yes"
is made by turning your side to the party and bowing your body forward
several times, forming a right angle at the waist.

The Esquimaux language, though comprising but few words, is one that is
difficult for foreigners to acquire and equally difficult to write,
owing to the existence of sounds that are not heard in any of the
civilized tongues and not represented by any combination of the letters
of the English alphabet. Though somewhat gutural it is not unmusical,
and for the sake of euphony final consonants are often omitted in
conversation. As for instance, the Inuit name for Repulse Bay, Iwillik,
is more frequently called, "Iwillie," a really musical sound. And so
with all such terminations. It is not difficult for a stranger to
acquire a sufficient knowledge of the language to enable him to
converse with the natives who inhabit the coasts and are in the habit
of meeting the whalers who frequent the nothern waters in the pursuit
of their avocation. There is a kind of pigeon English in use in these
regions that enables the strangers to communicate with the natives and
make themselves understood, though they would understand but little of
a conversation between two natives. As an illustration, the word
"notimer" means "where," and "ki-yete" is used for any form of the verb
"to come;" therefore "notimer ki-yete" would be understood by them to
mean "Where do you come from?" Now one native addressing another would
not use that form at all, but would say "Nuke-pe-wickt," which bears no
resemblance to the words used in the whalers' language. Also, take the
same word "notimer" and follow it with "owego," which is used for any
form of the verb to go, and you have "Notimer owego," "Where are you
going?" The native, however, would say "Namoon-ock-pict," or perhaps
"Nelle-ock-pin" (which way are you going?). Still they would readily
understand the expression familiar to the whalers and traders, as the
words are really Esquimaux words, but used in a free, broad sense; as,
for instance, the reader would understand a foreigner who used the word
"speak" instead of the other words expressing the same thought, as
"tell," "ask," "talk," &c. "Speak Charles come here" would convey
intelligence to your mind and be understood as well, though not so
readily until accustomed to it, as "Tell Charles to come here."

There are also words that neither belong to the Esquimaux nor any other
language, but are very valuable and expressive. "Sel-low" has been used
for so long a time to express the idea "sit down," and the application
of the latter term is so broad, that "sel-low" has been incorporated
into the language and was understood even by the natives of the
interior whom we met on our sledge journey and who had more of them
never before seen a white man. As, for example, you would ask, "Emik
sellow cattar?" (Is there any water in the pail?) and be thoroughly
understood, though a native would say, "Cattar, emik ta-hong-elar?"
Another useful word adopted from the unknown is "seliko," which means
to kill, shoot, break, bend, scratch, destroy or any kindred thought.
"Took too, seliko, ichbin?" (Did you kill any reindeer?) The old
fashion way of putting it is, "Took too par?" But that would only be
understood by the natives.

Our interpreter, Ebierbing (Esquimau Joe), says that the language has
undergone considerable change since the advent of white men, and even
since his early boyhood, and sometimes would tell me of meeting
strangers, who came into camp, from the interior who spoke "old
fashion," as he called it. This, he said, was especially the case with
the inhabitants of Southampton Island, called by the natives "Sedluk."
Though situated directly in the line of travel of the whalers in Hudson
Bay, all of whom pass directly along its rocky coast, it is an almost
unknown territory. It is known to be inhabited, but its people are
seldom seen. The head of the island is far from Iwillik, and the frozen
straits that separate the two countries would afford an admirable route
of communication. The island is said to be well stocked with game and
the inhabitants are comparatively comfortable. While our party was in
Hudson Bay a whaler was wrecked on the western coast of Southampton,
north of cape Kendall, and the crew easily secured a reindeer the day
they landed. They remained there but two days and then sought the other
shore of Rowe's Welcome, so as to be in the course of the other whalers
then in the bay in order that they might be picked up by them. They
said, however, that if compelled to remain on the island they had no
doubt of their ability to secure plenty of game to maintain them, or at
least to keep off scurvy. Last year the captain of the wrecked vessel
visited the island of the scene of the wreck in order to save as much
as possible from destruction. He went in a whale boat with a crew of
Iwillik Esquimaux, and while there met with a party of the natives. I
subsequently had a talk with the captain's Iwillik crew and inquired
about the people of Sedluk. They told me that their language was
"old-fashioned" and that their arms and implements were mostly of the
obsolete pattern of the Stone Age.

Though living so near together there had been no communication between
the nations; and only once before, about three years previous to my
visit to Hudson Bay, when a whale had gone ashore on Sedluk, an Iwillik
native on board the vessel that killed the whale went with the crew to
claim the carcases and brought news of the foreign country and its
people. I was told that the language of these people of Sedluk was
similar to that spoken by the fathers and grandfathers of the Iwillik
tribe. They had evidently the same origin, and while one became
improved by intercourse with foreign nations and adopted words from
foreign tongues, the other remained as it was in the past, unimproved
by interchange of ideas. I have never seen anything like a full
glossary of the Esquimaux language, and believe that at this time, when
Arctic affairs are attracting so much attention everywhere, a list of
the most important words used in communicating with the natives, and
the method of uniting them, would prove quite interesting. My
experience was that though we at first found it difficult to talk with
the interior tribes they soon caught the idea and conversation became
easy. Innukpizookzook, an Ooqueesiksillik woman who with her husband
joined our party on Hayes River, learned the method of communication in
two weeks, so that it was as easy to hold conversation with her as with
any of those who came with us from Hudson Bay and had been accustomed
to the peculiar language since their birth. In fact, as a general
thing, we found the women much brighter than the men, not only in
acquiring language but in understanding the descriptions of wonderful
things in the white men's country.

It used to be an endless source of amusement to the men, women, and
children in the Arctic regions to look at the pictures in the
illustrated books and journals. Colored maps were also very attractive
to them, and the large type in advertisements apparently afforded them
great pleasure. They were not at particular to hold the pictures right
side up; side-wise or upside down seemed quite as satisfactory. Though
admiring pictures exceedingly, I did not find them very proficient
draughtsmen, and yet nothing seemed to give them more pleasure than to
draw with a lead pencil on the margin of every book they could get hold
of, and my Nautical Almanac and "Bowditch's Epitome" are profusely
illustrated by them. Their favorite subjects were men and women and
other animals, always drawn in profile and with half the usual number
of feet and legs visible.




GLOSSARY.


The following glossary comprises all the words in general use in
conversation between the natives and traders in Hudson Bay and
Cumberland Sound, and a thorough knowledge of it would enable the
student to make himself understood throughout the entire Arctic, with
the assistance of a few signs which would naturally suggest themselves
at the proper time:

A.

Arrow--Kok'-yoke.
Arm--Tel'-oo.
Another--I-pung'-er.
All night--Kuee-en'-nah.
Angry--Mar-me-an'-nah.
All--Ter-mok-er-mingk.
Autumn--Oo-ke-uk'-shark.
Afraid--Kay-pe-en'-nah.
A little while ago, to-day--Wateh-eur'.
Ask--O-kow-te-vah'-vor.
Antlers--Nug'-le-you.
Axe--Oo'-lee-mar.
Aurora Borealis--Ok-sel-e-ak-took, ok-shan'-ak-took.
Air--Ar-ne-yung'-ne-uk.
After, or last--O-puk'-too.
After (to carry)--Ok-la-loo'-goo.
After (to bring)--I'-vah.
Always--E-luk-o-she'-ar.
Alone--In-nu-tu-a-rk'.
A game (like gambling)--Nu-glu-tar.
A herd--Ah-mik-kok'-too.
Act of medicine men--Suk-ki'-u.
Apples (dried)--Poo-wow'-yak.
Ankle--Sing-yeung'-mik.
Arm--Ok-sek'-too.

B.

Bear--Nan'-nook.
Bear (cub)--Ar-took'-tar.
Bullet--Kok'-yoke.
Bow--Pet-e'-chee.
Bird--Tig'-me-ak.
Boots--Kum'-ming.
Blood--Owg.
Black--Muk'-tuk.
Belch--Neep'-shark.
Brother--An'-ing-er.
Bones--Sow'-ner.
Bag--Ik-pe-air'-re-oo.
Book--Muk-pet-toe'-up.
Belt--Tep'-shee.
Blubber--E-din-yer'.
Bashful--Kung-we-shook'-pook.
Blue--Too-mook'-took.
Breastbone--Sok'-e-djuck.
Backbone--Kee-mik'-look.
Belly--Nong'-ik.
Brain--Kok'-i-tuk.
Beard--Oo'-mik.
Beads--Shoong-ow'-yah.
Blanket--Kep'-ig.
Break--Sel'-li-ko.
Bark--Oo-we-uk'-too.
Boil--Kul-ak'-pook.
Bite--Kee'-wah, O-kum-wik'-poo.
Breathe--Ar-nuk-ter-re'-uk.
Build snow house--Ig-loo-le'-yook.
Burn--Oon-ok'-took.
Big river--Koog-ooark'.
Brass headband--Kar'-roong.
Butcher knife--Pee'-low.
Before (or first)--Kee'-sah-met, Oo-tung-ne-ak'-pung-ar.
Bring (verb)--Tik-e-u-dje'-yoo.
Body--Kot'-e-jeuk.
Black moss--Kee-now'-yak.
Big lake--Tussig-see'-ark.
Berries (like red raspberries)--Ok'-pict.
Berries (small black)--Par-wong.
Berries (large yellow)--Kob'-luk.
Bill (of bird)--See'-goo.
Button--See'-ah-cote.
Buttonhole--See-ok-wahk'-pe-ok.
Blubber--Oke-zook.
Blubber (oil tried out)--Tung'-yah.
Bitch--Ahg'-neuck.
Ball of foot--Man-nook'-kok.
Bend (verb)--Ne-yook'-te-pook.
Break (verb)--E-ling-nuk'-poo, Nok'-ok-poe, Noo-week'-pook, Kow'-poo.
Beat (as a drum, verb)--Moo'-mik-took.
Beat (snow off of clothing, verb)--Tee-look'-took-took.
Beat (with club, verb)--Ah-now-look-took.
Boots (deerskin)--Ne'-u, Mit-ko'-lee-lee.

C.

Caps--See'-ah-dout.
Cheek--Oo-loo'-ak.
Codfish--Oo'-wat.
Come here--Ki-yeet', ki-low', ki-ler-root'.
Clothing--An'-no-wark.
Clear weather--Nip-tark'-too.
Cold--Ik'-kee.
Cup--E-mu'-sik.
Cairn--In-nook'-sook.
Clam--Oo-wil'-loo.
Child--Noo-ter-ark'.
Cloud--Nu'-yer.
Chief--Ish-u-mat'-tar.
Cook--Coo-lip-sip'-too.
Canoe--Ky'-ak.
Coat (inside)--Ar-tee'-gee.
Coat (outside)--Koo'-lee-tar.
Cloth--Kob-loo-nark'-tee.
Child, or little one--Mik'-ke
  (abbreviation of mik-e-took-e-loo, little).
Cask--Kah-tow-yer.
Cry (verb)--Kee-yie'-yook.
Cap, or hood--Nah'-shuk.
Carry (verb)--Ok-lah-loo'-goo.
Chew (verb)--Tum-wah'-wah.
Cut (verb)--Pe-luk'-took.
Cross-eyed--Nak-oon-i'-yook.
Copper--Kod-noo'-yer.
Calf (of leg)--Nuk-i-shoong'-nuk.
Crawl (verb)--Parm'-nook-took.
Cough (verb)--Coo-ik-suk'-took.
Come (verb)--Tee-kee-shark'-took-too.
Commence (verb)--Ah-too-ik-now'-ook-took.

D.

Dog--Ki'-mak, King'-me.
Doe (old)--No-kal'-lee.
Doe (young)--Nu-ki'-etoo.
Day, or to-day--O-gloo'-me.
Day after to-morrow--Oo-al-e-an'-nee.
Day before yesterday--Ik-puk-shar'-nee.
Duck--Me'-ah-tuk.
Dangerous--Nang-e-yang-nak'-took.
Dog harness--Ar'-no.
Dead--Tuk'-ah-wuk.
Dark--Tark, ta-ko'-nee.
Down--Tow'-nau-ee.
Dawn--Kow-luk'-poo.
Door--Mat'-dor, par, koo-tuk.
Daughter--Pun'-ne.
Dress--Au-a-wark'-took.
Drown--Ki-yar'-wuk.
Drink--E'-mik-took.
Dream--See-muk'-took-pook.
Do you like?--U-mar'-ke-let-it-la?
Dripping water--Ko-duk'-too, Kush-e-koo'-ne.
Do (verb)--I-u-met'-u.
Dried Salmon--Pe-ip'-se.
Deerskin drawers--E'-loo-par.
Deerskin trousers--See'-lah-par.
Dive (verb)--Me'-pook.
Dislike (verb)--Pe-u-wing-nah-lah'-yar.

E.

Ear--See'-a-tee.
Eyes--E'-yah.
Ermine--Ter'-re-ak.
Elbow--E-quee'-sik.
East--Tar'-wan-ne.
Early-Oo'-blah.
Every day--Kow'-ter-man.
End for end--Ig-loo'-an-ar.
Entrails--Ein'-er-loo.
Egg--Mun'-nik.
Eat--Ner-ee-uk'-took-too.
Empty--E-mah'-ik-took.
Everything or every one--Soo-too-in'-nuk.
Every night--Ood'-nook-ter-mock'-er-mingk.
Eye tooth--Too-loo'-ah-el'-lek.
Enough--Te-ter'-par.

F.

Fox--Ter-re-ar-ne'-ak.
Fire--Ik'-o-mar.
Fish--Ik'-kal-uk.
Fur--Mit'-kote.
Foot--Is'-se-kut.
Face-Kee'-nark.
Finger ring--Mik-e-le-rar'-oot.
Female--Nee-we-ak-sak.
Far--Oon-wes'-ik-poo.
Farewell--Tare-wow'-e-tee.
Finished--In-nuk'-par.
File--Ag'-e-yuk.
Flipper--Tel'-ar-rook.
Faster--Ok-shoot'.
Fork--Kok-e-jerk.
Fringe--Ne'-ge-ver.
Feather--Soo'-look.
Fingers--Arg'-ite.
Finger (index)--Tee'-kee-ur.
Finger (second)--Kig-yuck'-tluk.
Finger (third)--Mik-ke-lak.
Finger (little)--Ik-ik-ote.
Full--Put-tah'-took.
Fly--E-sow-ook-suk'-too.
Fight--Neng-nik-par'.
Feel--Tep-sik-ak'-took.
Freeze--Keegk-e-yook'.
Forget--Poo-yuk'-too.
Find (verb)--Nin-e-va'-ha.
Finish (verb)--In-nuk'-par, Koo-lee-war'.
Fall (verb, neuter)--E-yook-ar'-took.
Fall (verb, a person)--Pard'-la-took.
Float (verb)--Pook-tah-lak'-too.
Fetch (verb)--I-ik-sek'-took.
Finger-nail--Kook'-ee.
Fore arm--Ah'-goot.
Follow (verb)--Toob-yok'-she-yook.
Fish (verb)--On-le-ak'-took.
Feed dogs (verb)--Kig-me-ar'-re-ook.
Fold (verb)--Pir'-re-pook.
Forehead--Kow'-roong.
Frozen (or frost)--Quark.

G.

Gun--Suk-goo'-te-gook.
Goose--Ne-uk'-a-luk.
Gloves--Po'-ah-lo.
Good--Mah-muk'-poo.
Glad--Kuyan'-a-mik.
Gone--Peter-hong'-a-too.
Go--Owd-luk'-poo.
Give me--Pel'-e-tay.
Grave--E-le'-wah.
Green--Too-me-ook'-took.
Gun cover--Powk.
Give (verb)--Na-look'-ze-yook.
Ground squirrel--Shik'-sik.
Gravel--Too-wah'-pook.
Get (verb)--Shoo-mig'-le-wik.

H.

Here--Una, Muk'-kwar.
Hole--Kid'-el-look.
Handkerchief--Tuk-ke-o'-tee.
Halo--Ka-tow'-yar.
Hiccough (verb)--Neer-e-soo-ock'-took.
Home--Oo-op'-te-nar.
Hot--Oo-oo'-nah Hard (verb)--Se-se-o-ad'-elo
Hunt (verb) reindeer--Ah-wak'-took.
Hunt (verb) musk ox--Oo-ming-muk'-poo.
Howl (verb)--Mee'-ook-took.
Hang (verb)--Ne-wing-i'-yook.
Hurry--Too-wow'-ik-took, Shoo-kul'-ly.
Help--E-see-uk'-par.
Herring (peculiar to King William Land and vicinity)--Cow-e-sil'-lik.
Here (or there)--Tap'-shoo-mar.
Hammer (of gun)--Ting-me-ok'-tar.
Heel--King'-mik.
Hand--Puk'-beeg.
Hair--New'-yark.
Hand--Ar'-gut.
Husband--Wing'-ah.
Hard bread--She'-bah.
How far?--Karn'-noo-oon-wes'-ok-ik-te'-vah.
Half--E-lar'-ko.
Hate--Took-pah'.
He--Una.
How many--Kap-shay'-ne.
Hard--See'-see-yoke.
Hand me--Ki-jook.
Hill--King-yar'-ko.
Hungry--Kahk-too.
Hear or understand--Too-shark'-po.
Handle--E'-poo-ah.
How--Kon'-no.
Heart--Oo'-mut.

I.

Ice--Se'-ko.
Iron--Sev'-wick.
I, me, mine, etc.--Oo-wung'-ar.
Ice chisel--Too'-woke.
Instep--Ah-look.
It is better, OR, is it better--Pe-e-uke'.
Island--Kig-yeuck'-tuck.
Island (small)--Kig-yuk-tow'-ar.
Inside--E-loo-en'-ne.
Intestines--Ein'-er-loo.
Indian--Ik'-kil-lin.

J.

Jack knife--O-koo-dock'-too.
Jump (verb)--Ob-look'-took.
Jump--Ob-look'-took.
Just right--Nah-muck-too.

K.

Kettle--Oo-quee'-zeek.
Kidney--Tock'-too.
Kill--To-ko-pah'-hah.
Knee--Nub-loo'-te.
Knuckles--Nub-we'-yan.
Kiss (rub noses)--Coon'-e-glew.
Kittewake--E-muk-koo-tar'-yer.
Kill (verb, reindeer)--Took'-too-par.
Kill (verb, bear)--Nan-noo'-me-owd.
Keep (verb)-Pah'-pah-took.

L.

Little river--Koog-ah-lar'.
Lose (verb)--I-see'-u-wuck.
Lower jawbone--Ah-gleer'-roke.
Like (verb)--Pe-u-we'-we-yook.
Lungs--Poo'-wite.
Long ago--Tap-shoo-man'-ne.
Lead--Ok'-ke-gook.
Lip (upper)--Kok-tu'-we-ak.
Lip (lower)--Kok'-slu.
Leg--Ne'-yoo.
Loon--Kok'-saw.
Look--Tuk'-ko.
Large--An'-no-yoke.
Love--Kou-yah-e'-vah-vick.
Liver--Ting'-you.
Lake--Tus-sig.
Light--Ood'-luk, oo'-blook.
Laugh--Ig-luk'-too.
Lift--Kee'-wik-took.
Leak--Arng-mi-yook.

M.

Musk-ox--Oo'-ming-munk.
Midnight--Oo'-din-wark.
Moon--Tuk'-luk.
Man--Ang'-oot Mouth--Kang'-yook.
Medicine man--Arng'-ek-ko.
Male--Nu-kup'-e-ak.
Much--Am-a-suet'.
Meat--Neer'-kee.
Meat cooked--Oo-yook'.
My son--Ear'-ken-ear-ar.
Marrow--Pat'-ak.
Musquito--Keek-toe'-yak.
Make--Mix-uk'-too.
Moss (running)--Ik-shoot-ik.
Moss (spongy)--Mun'-ne.
Mix (verb)-Kar'-te-took.
Milk--Ah-mar'-mik-took.
Milkbag--E-we-eng'-ik.
Match--Ik-keen'.

N.

Never--I-pung'-ar.
Now--Man'-na.
Nail--Kee'-kee-uk.
Navel--Col-es'-ik.
Nostrils--Shook'-loot.
Night--Oo'-din-nook.
Needle--Mit'-cone.
Nose--Tling'-yak.
Neck--Koon-wes'-ok.
Near--Kon-e-took'-ah-loo.
No--Nok'-er, nok-i'.
Noon--Kig-yuk-kah'-poo-kik-ah.
Naked--Ar-noo-wi-lee-ak'-took.
Nest--Oo'-blood.
Narrow--Ah-me'-too.

O.

Old--Oh'-to-kok.
Outside--See-lah-tau'-ne.
Oar--E-poot.
Old man--Ik-tu'-ar.
Old woman--Ah'-de-nok.
Over there--Ti'-mar.
Out doors--See'-lar-me.
Observation of sun--Suk-a-nuk'-ah-yook.

P.

Pencil--Titch'-e-row.
Pemmican--Poo'-din-ik.
Pant (verb)--Arng-ni-u-ak'-took.
Pup--King-me-ak'-yook.
Pour (verb)--Koo'-we-yook.
Promise--Pee-da-go-war'-ne.
Place anything in its sheath--E-lee-wah'.
Put down (verb)--E-leeg'-yoke.
Place (verb)--Im'-in-ar.
Play (verb)--Kik'-it-toon.
Powder--Ok'-de-ur.
Pretty--Mah-muk'-poo.
Promise--Pe-dah-go-wah'-nah.
Paper--Al-le-lay'-yook.
Ptarmigan--Ok-ke-ge'-ah.
Pan--Ah-wap'-se-lah.
Pail--Kat'-tar.
Pin--Too-be-tow'-yer.

Q.

Quickly--Shoo-kul'-ly.

R.

Round--Pang'-ar, Arng-mar-look'-too.
Reside (verb)--Noo-mig'-e.
Row (verb)--E'-poo-too.
Runners of sled--See'-woong-nar, We-ung'-nuk.
Roll (a bundle)-E-moo'-war.
Rest (verb)--Noo-kung-ah'-took.
Rot (verb)--Shoo-yook'-too, E-vood'-nok.
Reindeer--Took'-too.
Reindeer (big buck)--Pang'-neuck
Reindeer (young buck)--Nu-kar-tu'-ar.
Reindeer (fawn)--No'-kark.
Ramrod--Kok'-dook-sook.
Red--Owg.
River--Koog.
Rabbit--Oo-kae'-ut.
Rock--We-ar'-zook.
Rain--Mok'-uk-too.
Raven--Too-loo'-ah.
Rapids--E-tem-nark'-zeack.
Ribs--Too-lee-med'-jit.
Run--Ood-luk-too.
Ride--Ik-e-mi'-yuk.
Resemble--Ar-djing'-er.
Remember--Kow-ye-mu'-wuk-er.

S.

Sledge--Kom'-mo-tee.
Seal--Net'-chuk.
Seal (large)--Ook'-jook.
Seal (bladder nose)--Nets-che'-wuk.
Seal (fresh water) Kosh-e-geer'.
Seal (jumping)--Ki-o-lik.
Snow--Ap'-poo.
Stockings (long)--Ah-luk'-tay.
Stockings (short)--E-king'-oo-ark, e-nook-too.
Sun--Suk'-e-nuk.
Star--Oo-bloo'-bleak.
Skin--Am'-ingk.
Swan--Coke'-jeuk.
Sea or salt--Tar'-re-o.
Salmon--Ek'-er-loo.
Salmon (black)--Ish'-u-ark.
Stone--We'-ark.
Snow knife--Pan-an'-yoke.
Small--Mik-e-took'-e-loo.
Some--Tah-man'-ar-loo.
Swim (verb)--Poo'-e-mik-took, Na-'look-took.
Sink (verb)--Kee'-we-wook.
Smile (verb)--Koong'-ik-kook.
Spit (verb)--Oo-e-ak'-took.
Stare (verb)--E e-e'-yook.
Shake (verb)--Oo-look'-took.
Stretch (verb)--Tesh-ik-ko'-me-yook.
Slats of sled--Nup'-poon Screw--Kee-gee-ar'-lee.
Snow drift or bank--O-que'-che-mik.
Squid (whale food)--Ig-le'-yahk.
Spyglass--King'-noot.
Strong smell--Tee-pi'-e-took.
Shin--Kuh'-nok.
Shoulder--Ke-es'-ik.
Swap (verb)--Ok-ke-la'-yook.
Sharpen--Kee-nuk'-took, Air-e-yook'-took.
Sing (men)--Pe'-se-uk.
Sing (women)-Im'-nyick-took.
Sweat--Ar-mi-yok'-took.
Sneeze--Tug-e-yook'-took.
Squint--Kahn-ing-noo'-yook.
Scare--Kock-se-tek'-poong-ar, Ik'-see-book.
Starve--Pik'-lik-took, Pig-le-rark'-pook.
See anything coming far off--Og-le-luk'-pook.
Spinal cord--Kitch-e'-ruk.
Seal spear--Oo-nar'.
Sealskin slippers--Pee'-nee-rok.
Sealskin boots (short)--E'-keek-kuk.
Sorry--Ah-kow'-mit-u.
Stomach--Neer-u'-ker.
Shot (discharge of a gun)--Suk-ko'-eet.
Sealskin--Kis'-ingk.
Saw--Oo'-loot'.
Spotted--Oo-kee-leur-yere', Ar-glark'-took.
Svuare--Se-nar'.
Soft--Ah-kut-too-ah'-loo.
Strong--Shung-e'-yook.
Snake--Ne-meur'-e-ak.
Scratch another thing (verb)--Ah-guk'-took.
Stumble (verb)--Pard'-look-took.
Snore (verb)--Kom-noo'-we-ook.
Swear (verb)--O-kah-look'-took.
Suck (verb)--Tum-woi'-yook.
Swallow (verb)--E'-wah.
So--Ti'-ma-nar.
Summer--Ow'-yer.
Shirt--Ar-tee'-gee.
Spring--Oo-ping'-yark.
Same--Ti'-ma-toe.
Sister--Nur-year'-ger.
Scraper--Suk'-koo.
Snow stick--An-owt'-er.
Snow-block--Ow'-ik.
Spectacles--Ig-eark'-too.
Spoon--Al'-lute.
Sinew--Oo-lee-ute'-ik.
Sick--Ah'-ah, Ar-ne-ok'-took.
Scissors--Kib-e-ow'-te.
Smoke--E'-shik.
Stranger--Ahd'-lah.
Sunrise--Suk-ah-ne-uk'-poke.
Sunset--Ne-pe'-woke.
Sit down--Ing-e'-tete.
Stand up--Nik-e'-we-tete.
Steam--Poo'-yook-took.
Sand--See'-ah-wark.
Snowing--Con'-nuk-too.
Snow shovel--Po-ald'-er-it.
Speak--O-kok'-po.
Sleep--Sin'-nik-poo.
Ship--Oo'-me-ak.
Smoke (verb)--Pay-u'-let-tee.
Scratch--Koo'-muk-took.
See--Tak'-ko-wuk.
Smell--Tee'-pee.
Steal--Tig'-lee-poo.
Show--Tuk-o-shu-ma'-uk-too.
Sweetheart--E-veuck'-seuck.

T.

To-morrow--Cow'-pert, Ok'-ar-go.
Two or three days ago--Ik'-puk-shar'-nee.
Tallow--Tood'-noo.
Teeth--Ke'-u-tee.
Tongue--Oo'-guark.
Tent--Tu'-pik Thunder--Kod'-ah-look.
Thunderstorm--Sel'-ah-look.
Trousers--Kok-ah-leeng'.
There--Ta'-boir.
Thanks--Quee-en'-nah-coo'-nee.
These people--Ta'-ma-quar.
Those people--Tuk'-o-quar.
Then--Oo-bah'.
Thread--Eve'-er-loo.
Tusk--Too'-rok.
Tenderloin--Oo-lee-oo-she'-ne.
Tail--Pam'-e-oong'-gar.
There (in the distance)--Tite'-quar.
Track--Too'-me.
Tired--Too-ki'-yoo.
Thumb--Koo-bloo'.
Thick weather--Tock-se-uk'-too.
Thirsty--E-me-rook'-too.
Thick--Eb-zhoo'-zhook.
Thin--Sah'-took.
Tatoo--Tood-ne'-uk.
Think--Ish-u-mi'-yuk.
Tell--Kow'-you-yor.
Trace--Ok-zu-nar'.
That will do--Ti'-mar-nar.
Think--Ere-kert-sert'-ro.
Take--Pe-e-ock-i'-re.
Tear (verb)--Al'-ik-pook.
Trigger--No-kok-tah.
Toe (big)--Po'-to-wok.
Toe (first)--Tee'-kee-ur.
Toe (middle)--Kig-yuck'-tluck.
Toe (third)--Mik'-e-lak.
Toe (little)--Ik'-ik-ote.
Thread (verb)--Noo-wing-yok'-par.
Thigh--Kok-too'-ok.
Throat--Too-koo-ed'-jik.
This person--Tab'-shoor mar.
Throw (verb)--Me-loo-e-ak'-took.

U.

Ugly--Pe'-ne-took.
Understand or hear--Too-shack'-poo.
Up or north--Tap-an'-ny.
Upset (verb)--Koo'-e-yook.
Upset a kyack and inmates--Poo'-she-pook.
Undress--We-ze-tk'ook.

V.

Vibrate (verb)-Ow'-look-a-tak'-took.

W.

Will you?--E'-ben-loo.
Why?--Shu.
What?--Shu'-ar.
Who, which, what?--Kee'-nar.
What is the matter?--Kon-ah-we'-pin.
Wolverine--Cow'-bik.
Weak--Shung-e'-took.
Whistle--Oo-we-nyack'-too.
Wake up (verb)--Too-puk'-poo.
Work (verb)--Sen-uk'-suk-too.
Walrus--I'-vick.
Water--E'-mik.
Wood--Ke'-yook.
Woman--Ah'-de-nok.
Woman's boat--Oo'-mi-eu.
Whale--Ok'-bik.
White man--Kob-lu-nar.
Wife--Nu-le-ang'-er.
Whalebone--Shoo'-kok.
Walrus hide--Kow.
White gull--Now'-yer.
Wind--An'-no-way.
White--Kowd'-look, Kok'-uk-too
When--Kong'-er.
Wait--Watch'-ow.
Where--No-ti'-mer.
What is--Kish-oo'.
Winter--Oke'-e-yook.
Window--E'-o-lar.
Warm--O'-ko.
Wolf--Ar-mow.
Whip--Ip-pe-row'-ter.
What--Shoo'-ar.
Wing--E'-sar'-ro.
Wide--Se-lik'-too.
Wrist--Nub-gwok.
Walk--Pe-shook'-too.
Write--Titch-e-ruk'-kut.
Whisper--E-shib-zhook'-took.
Wake up--Too-pook'-poo.
Want--Tah-oom-ar-wung'-ar.
Work--Sen-uk-euck'-too.
Wink--Kob-loo-shook'-too.
West--Tar'-wan-ne.

Y.

Yesterday--Ip-puk'-shur.
Young man--Nu-ku-pe-air-we'-nee.
Young woman--Nu-le-uk-sar-we'-nee.
Yes--Ar'-me-lar. You--Ich'-bin.
You and I--Oo-bah-gook'.
Year--Ok-ar-ny.
Yawn (verb)--I-ter'-uk-poo.
Yell (verb)--Ko-ko-ok'-took.

PHRASES.

Go ahead--At-tee'.
What is the name of--I-ting'-er.
What are you making?--Shu-lah-vik'.
Who is it?-Kee-now'-yer.
Where are you going?-Nah-moon-okt'-pict.
Where do you come from?--Nuk ke-pe'-wict.
I have found it--Nin-e-vah'-hah.
Is it good?--Pe-e-uke'.
I don't know--Am-e-a'-soot.
Shut the door--Oo'-me-yook.
Open the door--Mock'-tere-yook.
Do just as you please--Is-you-muk-e-yang'-ne.
I guess--Shu'-a-me.
Give me a light--Ik-ke-de-lung'-ar.
Give me a drink--Im'-ing-ar
Give me a smoke--Pay-u'-let-e-de-lung'-ar.
I don't know anything about it--Kow-you-mum-e-mum'-me.
Where does it come from?--Nuk-ke-nu'-nar?
Come in--Ki-low'-it. Right here--Muk'-ko-war.
Who is it?--Kee-now-yer.
I am not sure--Shu'-ah-me.
Is the meat done?--Oo-par'?
Too much--Pee-lo-ak'-poke.
Too little--Mik-ke-loo-ak-poke.
Which way?--Nel-le-ung'-nook?
A poor thing--Nug-a-leen'-ik.

NUMERALS.

1 (One)--An-tow' zig.
2 (Two)--Mok'-o, Mud'-el-roc.
3 (Three)--Ping'-ah-su-eet.
4 (Four)--See'-tah-mut.
5 (Five)--Ted'-el-e-mut.
6 (Six)--Ok'-bin-uk.
7 (Seven)--Ok'-bin-uk-mok'-o-nik.
8 (Eight)--Ok'-bin-uk-mok'-a-sun-ik.
9 (Nine)--Ok'-bin-uk-see'-tah-mut.
10 (Ten)--Ko'-ling.
20 (Twenty)--Mok'-ko-ling.

They have little idea of numbers beyond the number of their fingers,
and such as they can borrow by calling attention to their neighbors'
fingers. Any sum that calls for more than that is to them amasuet
(many) or amasuadelo (a great many).

NO IDEA OF LENGTH OF YEARS.

It is not at all singular, then, that they have no idea of their ages
when they get beyond the number of years that the mother can keep upon
one of the wooden or ivory buttons that hold her belt in place. It is
impossible, therefore, to tell whether they are a long-lived race.
There are many among them who bear the marks of advanced age, but such
may have resulted more from hardships and exposure than from the
accumulation of years. There is a gray-haired old dame with the Iwillik
tribe at Depot Island who was a grown woman at the time of Sir William
Edward Parry's visit there in 1821, and remembers the circumstances
with all the distinctness that marks the early reminiscences of the old
in every country. There was another woman there apparently as old, but
there was no early event by which her age could be traced except that
she told 'The Herald' correspondent that she remembered having
seen Parry on board of a ship in Baffin's Bay when she was a little
girl.




[Transcriber's Notes:
Some words which appear to be typos are printed
thus in the original book. Some of these possible misprints are:

Chap. II  "Boxy" ("Roxy")
Chap. IV  case (ease)
Chap. XIII  scarely (scarcely)
Chap. XIV  trival (trivial)
Chap. XVII  Collinsen Inlet (Collinson)

Index:
River, Lorrillard (Lorillard)
Selkirshire (Selkirkshire)
more than 10 of the Inuit names

Appendix:
comparitively (comparatively)
gutural (guttural)
nothern (northern)
carcases (carcass)

Glossary:
svuare (square)

The phonetic transcriptions of many Inuktitut names and terms are
inconsistent throughout the original text and have not been changed.]






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